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Full text of "Phenomena of materialisation : a contribution to the investigation of mediumistic teleplastics"

BOSTON 
PUBLIC 
tlBRARY 




PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 



PHENOMENA OF 
MATERIALISATION 

A CONTRIBUTION TO 
THE INVESTIGATION OF MEDIUMISTIC TELEPLASTICS 



o BY 

BARON VON SCHRENCK NOTZING 

PRACTISING PHYSICIAN IN MUNICH 



TRANSLATED BY 

E. E. FOURNIER d'ALBE, D.Sc. (Lond. and Birm.) 

Author of ''The Electron Theory," "Two New Worlds," 
"New Light on Immortality," etc. 



Reissue of the First English Edition 



WITH 225 ILLUSTRATIONS 



LONDON 
KEGAN PAUL, TRENCH, TRUBNER & CO. Ltd. 

NEW YORK: E. P. DUTTON & CO. 
1923 



'"/ ""y^' 






PRINTED IN GREAT BRITAIN BY 
THE EDINBURGH PRESS, 9 AND II YOUNG STREET, EDINBURGH 



Preface to the First German Edition 

" Nothing is too wonderful to be true." — Faraday. 

It is not without some misgiving that I publish in the present work 
the results of four years' observations of the medium Eva C. For the 
observations of mediumistic phenomena hitherto made, do not, up to 
now, in spite of their continuity and their independent agreement, and 
in spite of the high reputation of the authors whose names vouch for 
the facts stated, fulfil the requirements of an exact scientific method. 
This may, however, be due to the character of the occurrences 
themselves. 

Any dealings with the discredited so-called ** spiritistic" phenomena 
are attended, even now, by certain disadvantages to the investigator. 
Not only are his powers of observation, his critical judgment and his 
credibility brought into question, not only is he exposed to ridicule 
by the reproach of charlatanism — as, for example, was the famous 
criminal anthropologist, Lombroso — but he even incurs the danger of 
being regarded as mentally deficient, or even as insane, as was the 
case with the astronomer, Zollner, and the English chemist, Crookes. 

The open or secret opponents of scientific men thus discredited 
are in the habit of deriving some advantage from the destruction of 
their scientific authority. Recognising this fact, the well-known French 
psychologist, Charles Richet, has for the present entirely withdrawn 
from any dealings with the forbidden subject. 

As to the means sometimes adopted by those who wish to prove 
the supposed fraud underlying mediumistic phenomena, the experience 
of the author furnishes an instructive contribution. Convinced that 
the author was the victim of expert deceptions practised by two 
women, i.e.^ the medium Eva C. and her protectress Mme. Bisson, 
somebody secretly and without the author's knowledge instructed a 
well-known Parisian detective office to watch these two ladies. The 
employees of this firm, besides gathering the necessary information 
about the medium herself, also gained illegal possession of a number 
of photographic copies of the negatives obtained during the experi- 
ments, though these were the exclusive property of the author and 
his collaborator. 

In spite of the unwelcome annoyances to which these two ladies 

V 



vi PREFACE TO THE FIRST GERMAN EDITION 

were exposed by the tools of this anonymous agency, not only in the 
street but in their domestic and family life for eight months, the 
agency did not succeed in furnishing any proof of fraud or in finding 
the firm which supplied what they supposed to be the material required 
for the sittings, in the way of hand-shapes of all kinds, of veils, 
muslins, plaster casts of faces, or portrait drawings of four entire 
phantom images. One can hardly imagine a more miserable fiasco 
of this well-meant, but incorrect, method of serving the truth, if the 
alleged fraud had actually taken place. One remembers that in the 
case of the German flower medium, Anna Rothe, and the Australian, 
Charles Bailey, the purveyors of the objects required as " apports " 
during the sittings were easily found, even without spies. Clever 
detectives are in the habit of solving more difficult problems in a 
shorter time than was available in this case. 

Though we may condemn the method here described, we must 
acknowledge that a healthy scepticism and an open, benevolent and 
reasoned opposition may contribute to the elucidation of mediumistic 
problems. For they lead to the subsequent testing of the objections 
brought forward, and thus often to an improvement in the methods 
of investigation. 

The great astronomer, Johann Kepler, was right when he said 
*'Only resistance awakens slumbering forces. The works of foolish- 
ness perish. They must further what they seem to hinder. But that 
which comes from the fountain-head is eternal." Since all honest 
investigation means a step forward in knowledge, the author has, in 
spite of all these hesitations, made up his mind, after a twenty-five 
years' experience on the subject of mediumship, that he will no 
longer withhold from the public the four years' observations with 
Eva C. For, possibly, we may succeed in again directing attention 
to a dark and unexplored side of human Soul Life, and in particular 
to certain problematical psycho-physical effects, and, furthermore, 
furnish an incitement towards further tests. 

Whatever view we may take of this question, we cannot deny that 
the method of experiment employed in the observations with Eva C. 
and Stanislava P. marks a distinct step in advance in comparison 
with former similar investigations, so that further progress along the 
same road may yield even better results. 

The present work records in as impartial a manner as possible, 
and with the avoidance of attempts at explanations which would, at 
present, be premature, observations and occurrences in the case of the 
medium Eva C, which were objectively recorded by free photography. 
The majority of the experiments took place in Paris, and the author 
has stayed there as often as possible in order to continue these studies. 



PREFACE TO THE FIRST GERMAN EDITION vii 

During his absences the sittings were regularly continued under the 
accepted conditions, and in this case his collaborator, Mme. Bisson, 
made considerable use of the author's photographic apparatus. 

In order to give a continuous view of the development of the 
mediumistic phenomena during that time, nearly all the photographs 
taken by Mme. Bisson herself, dating from May 1909, are also 
published, as well as numerous personal observations made by her 
{e.g. on the spontaneous occurrences of the phenomena), which were 
facilitated by several years of her joint residence with the medium. 
These communications furnish a valuable and necessary supplement to 
the author's own experimental material. Besides, the reports could 
often be confirmed by a subsequent repetition in the author's presence 
of such occurrences as were, in the first instance, observed by 
Mme. Bisson alone, so that there is no occasion to doubt the correct- 
ness of these supplementary reports. The photographic plates were 
always inserted by the author himself during his experiments. They 
were developed also in his presence either by Barenne & Co. (Rue 
Duret 27 bis), or in Munich by the Photo-Chemical Institute of 
Dr Hauberrisser (Dienerstrasse 19). 

The majority of the materialisation phenomena photographed were 
also taken as stereoscopic photographs, but these could not, from 
considerations of clearness and brevity, be reproduced in the present 
work. 

Since in the first year, on account of the imperfect working of the 
flash-light apparatus, the photographs were often failures, certain 
situations of some apparent importance were reconstructed, according 
to the records, by the welcome assistance of the painter, Karl 
Gampenrieder. Such pictorial representations cannot, of course, be 
regarded as substitutes for photographs, and they only claim a 
relative value as graphic renderings of certain interesting moments. 

In the present year (1913J the author had the unexpected opportunity 
of observing materialisation phenomena in the case of a young Pole, 
Stanislava P., whose mediumistic powers are not yet sufficiently 
developed. These observations took place at Munich under similar 
conditions as with Eva C, but in a less rigid and convincing form. 
The independent agreement of certain performances of the Polish 
medium with those of Eva C. is so striking, that certain selected 
photographs from these sittings, together with explanatory notes, are 
added to this work in a special chapter. 

As regards the criticism of the occurrences related in the case of 
the medium Eva C, such men of science must be acknowledged 
as qualified in the first instance who command adequate knowledge 
and a special study of the subject of Physical Mediumship. He 



viii PREFACE TO THE FIRST GERMAN EDITION 

who has not read the works of Lombroso and Zollner, nor is acquainted 
with the several years' investigations of Sir W. Crookes, will possibly 
arrive at an erroneous conception or even a denial of the results 
communicated. But new acquisitions of knowledge must not be 
judged according to their probability or improbability ; they need not 
be swayed by temporarily dominant scientific dogmas or by popular 
opinion. 

Even though, at the present moment, we cannot comprehend the 
strange capacities of mediums, we have not to deal with "miracles" 
in the religious sense, but with occurrences happening fairly regularly 
under certain conditions, though their causes and laws are at present 
unknown. As Richet justly observes : '' Nothing is touched that 
belongs to the classical treasury of science." 

Let the reader then approach without prejudice and with an open 
mind the study of the present work, and let him not be shaken in his 
judgment by prevalent opinion, nor by the numerous failures and 
disappointments hitherto encountered in the history of "Occultism." 

As the author was guided in his experiments, so may also the 
reader be guided by the words of Frederick the Great: "I seek the 
truth everywhere, and respect it wherever I find it, and 1 submit to 
it whenever it is shown to me." 

ALBERT VON SCHRENCK NOTZING. 

Munich, iz^th October 19 13. 



TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE 

This first English version of Dr von Schrenck Notzing's Materialisa- 
tions-Phcenomene embodies not only the original volume but also the 
more important parts of the supplementary work entitled Der Kampf 
um die Materialisations Phcenoviene^ published early in 19 14, as well 
as certain subsidiary material accumulated since these researches 
were first made public. The English version has been prepared in 
consultation with the author and with Mme. Bisson, and it may 
be taken to represent their results and views as finally arrived at 
in 1920 and embodied in the forthcoming Second German Edition. 

The English-speaking public has, therefore, now an opportunity 
of studying these remarkable results at first hand. The present work 
is unique, in that it gives a full scientific account of a set of strange 
occurrences observed under the strictest conditions of control, and 
as yet quite unexplained. With admirable candour the author takes 
us into his confidence, and publishes his results in full, regardless of 
the dangers of misinterpretation by superficial and prejudiced critics. 
It cannot be expected that the facts here stated will be readily accepted 
as presented. Nobody believes facts merely because they are true. 
They must also link up with other facts, they must fit into our 
prevailing habits of thought, they must be "useful" in the sense 
of leading to workable practical conclusions. But any intelligent man 
may safely be challenged to read through this work with an open 
mind, and then deny that the case for the reality of the phenomena, 
and for the novelty and abnormality of their mode of production, 
has been completely established ; and once that point of view is 
attained, the new branch of knowledge will soon find its place in the 
intellectual inheritance of our race. 

The translator is convinced of the authenticity of the phenomena, 
not only from the perusal of this work but from the opportunities he 
had, through the kindness of the Society for Psychical Research, of 
witnessing some of the phenomena presented by the medium Eva C. 
in London. He does not venture an explanation, but agrees in the 
main with the author in regarding them as a new, or rather a hitherto 
unexplored, function of certain human organisms. He also takes the 

ix 



X TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE 

author's view that a spiritistic interpretation has not, so far, become 
unavoidable. 

In reading the reports of some of the Sittings one cannot help 
regretting that certain excessively severe precautions to eliminate the 
hypothesis of fraud should have been considered necessary, and hoping 
that the physical and emotional martyrdom undergone by the French 
medium should suffice to silence the most ruthless and exacting critic, 
and so pave the way for more humane methods of investigation. That 
the medium has retained her mental and moral equilibrium through 
so many years of experimentation is entirely due to the wisdom, 
patience and devotion of Mme. Bisson. 

The world is now for the first time in possession of a Monograph 
on these mysterious and much-controverted phenomena, investigated 
by a trained observer, and recorded by him with the aid of great 
scientific resources. The work demands, and is entitled to, an 
unprejudiced and respectful hearing. The verdict as to its value 
in the advancement of knowledge can be safely left to an enlightened 
public opinion. 

E. E. FOURNIER d'ALBE. 

London, Aug^ust 1920. 



CONTENTS 



PART I.— 1909-1913. 



INTRODUCTION. 

General and Historical 

On Method in Mediumistic Investigations 

Facts and Hypotheses 



PAGE 

I 

14 
28 



PHENOMENA WITH EVA C. 

Sittings in May and June 1909 (Paris) ...... 37 

Sittings in November 1909 (Paris) ...... 44 

Sittings in May and June 1910 (Paris) ...... 50 

Observations in Biarritz ........ 57 

Sittings in October and November 1910 (Paris) ..... 59 

Sittings in December 1910 and January 191 1 (Paris) . . . .80 

Sittings in March and April 191 1 (Paris) . ..... 86 

Sittings in May and June 191 1 (Paris) ...... 91 

Further Observations in June and July 191 1 (Paris) . . . .97 

Sittings in July and August 191 1 (St Jean de Luz) . . . .99 

Further Observations in September 191 1 (St Jean de Luz) . . . 115 

Sittings in October and November 191 1 (Paris) .... 117 

Observations in December 191 1 (Paris) ...... 134 

Sittings in December 191 1 and January 1912 (Paris) .... 137 

Observations in March and April 191 2 (Paris) ..... 145 

Sittings in April 1912 (Paris) •....., 147 

Psychical Phenomena •••..... 149 

Sittings in May and June 1912 (Paris) ...... 156 

Observations in June and July 1912 (Paris) ..... 169 

Sittings in July, August and September 1912 (Munich) . . . . 171 

Sittings in October and November 19 12 (Paris) ..... 207 

Observations in December 1912 and January and February 1913 (Paris) . 216 
Sittings in February and March 191 3 (Paris) . . . . .222 

Observations in March, April and May 1913 (Paris) .... 228 

Sittings in May and June 1913 (Paris) ...... 231 

Observations in June and July 19 1 3 (Paris and La Baule) . . . 243 

Result of the Microscopic Examinations . ..... 246 

xi 



xii CONTENTS 

PHENOMENA WITH STANISLAVA P. 

Introduction ..... 

Sittings in January and February 1913 (Munich) 
Sittings in June and July 1913 (Munich) 
Results of the Observations 



251 
252 
257 
259 



RETROSPECT. 

Negative Points and the Hypothesis of Fraud . 
Artistic and Technical Opinions ..... 
Method of Observation and Development of Teleplastic Structures 
Head Fragments, Faces and Phantoms .... 
Conclusion ........ 



260 
271 
274 
279 
283 



PART II.— 1913-1919. 

Introduction ...... 

The Rumination Hypothesis .... 

Front Page Illustrations from the Journal Le Miroir . 

Sittings with Eva C. in November and December 1913 and January 
1914 (Paris) ...... 

Sittings with Eva C. in May and June 1914 (Paris) 

Result of the Observations .... 

Reports of French Investigators 1916 (Paris) 

Dr V. Gustave Geley (Paris) on his Observations with Eva C. in 1918 (Paris) 

Conclusion .......... 



28s 
286 
292 

306 

311 

320 

324 
327 
336 



PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION. 



INTRODUCTION. 

GENERAL AND HISTORICAL. 

The history of Science in the last few decades confirms, more perhaps 
than in any previous age, the justice of the words of the great mathe- 
matician Arago, that the word " impossible " should be very sparingly 
used outside mathematics. Among the " impossibilities " of former 
opinion we may enumerate the following : — free motor traction on 
ordinary roads ; flying ; the arbitrary production of psychic dependence 
of a human being (hypnotic suggestion) ; vision into closed spaces 
(Rontgen rays) ; colour photography ; wireless telegraphy ; and radio- 
activity ; not to mention other facts of recent research. 

Hypnotism, which encountered more opposition than anything 
else, is now the common property of psychology, and the cure of nervous 
disease. At all times new discoveries have encountered violent opposi- 
tion. Facts were denied because they did not fit into the theories 
prevailing at the time, or because fantastic people drew unwarrantable 
conclusions from them. 

A particularly instructive example of this kind is furnished by 
meteoric stones, whose actuality struggled long for recognition. Thus 
Chladni^ complains in his work on " Fiery Meteors " of the treatment 
accorded to him by his colleagues : " When my work appeared, the 
majority of them declared the whole contents to be foolishness, as 
indeed I had expected. It was said in the General German Library 
that my assertions were unworthy of refutation." J. A. du Luc 
expressed himself in this sense, that if he had seen such a stone fall at 
his feet he would have said, " I have seen it, and yet I do not believe it." 

But, as a rule, people make the matter easy for themselves by 
distorting the facts newly announced, or by simply denying them, 
instead of taking the trouble to make further investigations. Dis- 
belief went so far that most of the meteorites which had been kept 
in public collections were simply thrown away by the Keepers, for fear 
of being made ridiculous and being regarded as uneducated if they 
admitted the possibility of the thing. This a priori resistance to 
new phenomena, an old inherited scientific sin, is seen more particularly 
in medicine, which owed originally to laymen so many of its present 
secure possessions. Let us remember the violent resistance opposed to 

^ Chladni, Tiber Feuermeteore, Vienna, 1819. 



2 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

Harvey's discovery of the circulation of the blood (this excellent 
investigator was even declared to be insane), also the opposition of the 
French Academy to vaccination for smallpox, as proposed by Jenner. 

The history of Science offers numerous examples of this kind, which 
may be found enumerated in the writings of Flammarion, Zollner, 
and Kemmerich.i 

Our investigation of Nature is subject to change. We have no 
justification for condemning a priori, though a healthy scepticism 
can only contribute to the furtherance of truth. A recollection of the 
revolutionary results of investigation obtained in the last few decades 
may, however, have cleared the judgment of the present world of 
science. Thus our present time appears to be better disposed towards 
the reception and sober examination of new facts, however strange 
and absurd they may appear to be. 

Another important advance is the abandonment of the materialistic 
conception of the universe which, even thirty years ago, was in sole 
possession. Modern physics regards matter as a form of motion, and is 
dominated by the idea of energy. Psychology also is gradually emanci- 
pating itself from the purely physiological conception of mental life ; 
and under the leadership of the philosopher Bergson, it tends to 
acknowledge the superiority of the psychical over the physical. Thus 
the circumstances are much more favourable to the investigation of 
great new problems and facts than they were some decades ago. 

Among the more important problems we may place the scientific 
investigation of the physical phenomena of mediumship which, up to 
now, has been entirely in the hands of superstitious spiritists. 

In view of the improvement of our natural knowledge there is no 
a priori reason against the possibility of abnormal phenomena and 
effects which may have their origin in the wonderful human organism. 
Our knowledge of that which we call life is limited. The riddles of 
propagation, of growth, of the transmission of racial qualities, are 
entirely unsolved, although they take place daily before our eyes. 
Perhaps, as Kayserling ^ supposes, the individual is only a stage in the 
process of life. If that is so, the real in Nature is based upon some- 
thing ideal. The principle of life is not exhaustively represented by 
its temporary appearance. According to this view we overestimate 
the importance of consciousness, which does not imply anything essential 
to life, and so we exaggerate the sense of personal existence. 

Now we find abnormal phenomena of human nature, as presented 
by mediumistic processes, at all times in the history of civilisation, 
so that, for this reason alone, an examination of them is justified quite 
apart from any subsequent explanation. Is it only a matter of fraud, 
superstition and self-deception ? Even if that were so, an investigation 
of the subject, and a re-education of the persons thus misled and 
deceived, would appear to be necessary. 

But if, as has been asserted, we have to deal with genuine phenomena 
of an unknown, transcendental origin, then the study of these facts 
is one of the most important tasks ever imposed upon science. For 

1 Flammarion, Les Forces Inconnues de la Nature; Zollner, Wissemchaftliche Abhand- 
lungen, 1878, Leipzig ; Kemmerich, Kultur-Kuriosa, Vol. II. (Langen, Munich, 1910). 

2 Kayserling, TJnsterblichkeit , Munich, 1907. 



INTRODUCTION 8 

it must bring about an unexpected widening of the knowledge of the 
processes of human life. 

The unprejudiced and sober examination of the records contributed 
to literature by well-known investigators familiar with the methods 
of scientific observation, shows that it is absolutely necessary to make 
further tests of their results if there is a suitable opportunity of doing so. 
The best known of such records are those made 1870 to 1874 by the 
late Sir William Crookes, the great English chemist and physicist, 
which were undertaken with the medium, Florence Cook, then fifteen 
years of age, and with Daniel Dunglas Home. The investigations 
of this savant were conducted with such care that it is difficult to deny 
him any credibility simply on account of his cursory and sometimes 
rather startling form of publication, as was done by Alfred Lehmann.^ 
Crookes employed self-registering measuring apparatus and treated 
the medium as a sort of power-engine. He published the first record 
of certain phenomena in the case of Home in 1871, and eighteen years 
later further notes on the same sittings. In these we get a picture 
of some occurrences rather different from that presented in the original 
publication. Thus Lehmann, who exposes a few contradictions in the 
two publications, finds fault with the dependence of the experimenter 
on the wish of the medium, the defective illumination, the free movement 
of the medium during the experiments, and many inaccuracies in the 
records. According to him a conscientious investigator should only 
publish such results as he has repeatedly obtained under definite con- 
ditions, and the records should be published in full, together with a 
description of all accompanying circumstances. 

Even if we admit certain faults in Crookes's records of his experi- 
ments, these do not impair the value of any single definite experiment, 
or of a self-contained single observation. Must these results, therefore, 
have been observed inaccurately and falsely, because they are not 
recorded as Lehmann justly desires it ? 

As regards the good- will of the medium, we may take it that all 
experiments are dependent on that, and the education of the mediums 
(who have a very imperfect understanding of the requirements of 
scientific method), so as to make them into useful subjects for research, 
is one of the most difficult problems which investigators, in this subject, 
have to solve. 

As regards the famous materialisations of " Katie King," Podmore ^ 
showed that the decisive proofs were not obtained in Crookes's own 
house, but at the house of the Cook family in Hackney, where the bed- 
room of the medium was used as the cabinet. 

The electric control of the medium proposed by Varley did not, 
according to Lehmann, exclude fraud. Yet this critic admits that 
Katie King was a living being ! Must we take it that the circum- 
stances of the medium's bedroom being used in some cases as a dark 
cabinet has anything to do with the value of the results obtained by 
Crookes, who, in the course of four years, made hundreds of experiments 
in his own laboratory ? Decision can only rest with the conditions 
of the single experiment performed. The genuineness of the medium- 

' Lehraanrij Ahergluube und Zaufierei, Enke, Stuttgart, 1908. 
" Podmore, Modern Spiritualism, Vol. II., p. 155. 



4 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

istic phenomenon should be considered as completely established by 
the generation and disappearance of a figure without any artificial 
means before the eyes of the experimenter, as was so often described 
by Crookes. That this phenomenon accompanied the medium, and was 
effected even better in the rooms in which she lived, is quite natural. 

Lehmann says nothing about the photographs taken by Crookes, 
which proved that Katie King and Florence Cook weve two different 
living beings. When, several years after the medium's marriage with 
Mr Corner, during a sitting of the 9th January 1880, the spirit " Mary " 
was seized and found to be the medium in a flannel dress and 
corsets, and when, later, six unsatisfactory sittings were held 
by Polish men of science, it was said everywhere that the celebrated 
medium of Professor Crookes was a fraud, and that she had deceived 
him during several years. Whether this exposure was really a case of 
" transfiguration," " transmutation," or pseudo-materialisation, such 
as often occurs, and has also been observed by the author, may be left 
aside for the moment. But the readers of Crookes's reports may remem- 
ber the farewell sitting of Katie King, in which she declared that she 
would depart and would never return. 

Possibly this termination was a hint of the close of Miss Cook's 
mediumship. We may find it humanly comprehensible that she made 
further attempts, and that, in spite of the failure of her mediumistic 
powers, she consented to sittings which came to a lamentable end. 

But even this circumstance cannot diminish the importance of the 
facts which Crookes obtained with the medium at the height of her 
creative power. Of the whole of Lehmann's criticism of the English 
investigator only one justifiable objection remains, viz., that the 
record of these interesting phenomena might have been more complete 
and accurate. 

Besides, the late Sir William Crookes, who was regarded as one of 
England's greatest chemists and physicists, never recanted a single 
one of his statements on this matter. In this connection he has made the 
following pronouncement : ^ 

" Thirty years have passed since I published a report concerning 
experiments purporting to show that behind our scientific knowledge 
a power exists which differs from that common to all mortals. ... To 
stop in an investigation which promises to open wide the gates of 
knowledge, to hesitate for fear of difficulties and hostile criticism, 
would mean exposmg science to censure. The investigator has nothing 
to do but to go straight ahead, to gather information everywhere, to 
follow the light inch by inch with the aid of his reason, wherever the 
light may lead, even should it resemble a will-o'-the-wisp ! " 

Among other mediums referred to in the literature of the latter 
part of the nineteenth century and the first years of the twentieth, a 
few may be mentioned here, whose performances furnish links and 
parallels with the statements contained in the present work. 

The private medium, Mrs d'Esperance, born in London in 1852, 
is described by all who came in contact with her as an honest and 
credible person. In spite of her truthful character she was not spared 

1 Hyslop, Enigmas- of Psychical Research (passage retranslated fiom the Germau). 



INTRODUCTION 5 

an " exposure." While she was believed to be sleeping in the cabinet, 
her shadow friend " Yolande " was seized. On this she says : " The 
man who had seized her said it was I. This assertion appeared to me 
so extraordinary and incomprehensible that I could have laughed, if my 
utter helplessness and weakness had not rendered me incapable of 
thinking or even of moving." In consequence of this shock, this lady of 
unimpeachable character broke down completely, became seriously ill, 
retired from the world, and ceased to give any sittings for a long time. 
She had devoted herself to mediumistic studies solely from a love of 
the subject and from a thirst for knowledge. From these and other 
remarks Lehmann arrives at the reasonable conclusion that Mrs d'Esper- 
ance, during the exposure, played the part of Yolande automatically 
in a dream. In general, he adopts the view that the spirit forms are 
unconscious figments dramatically^ enacted by the materialising mediums. 
Mrs d'Esperance was a dreamer even as a child. She had a lively 
imagination. At fourteen she believed herself to be insane, on account 
of numerous visual and auditory hallucinations. Under the influence 
of spiritists she commenced with table-tilting, psychography, and 
automatic drawing and writing, (She had been taught drawing and 
painting.) The genesis of her own materialisation phenomena she 
describes just as they are observed in other mediums : a white heap of 
muslin lying on the floor becomes animated and ascends in the form of 
white clouds, until, under the folds of the drapery, a living being in human 
shape appears. On p. 254 of her book ^ the same process is described as 
follows : — 

" First a filmy, cloudy patch of something white is observed on the 
floor in front of the cabinet. It then gradually expands, visibly extend- 
ing itself as if it were an animated patch of muslin, lying fold upon fold, 
on the floor, until extending about two and a half by three feet, and 
having a depth of a few inches — perhaps six or more. Presently it 
begins to rise slowly in or near the centre, as if a human head were 
underneath it, while the cloud}^ film on the floor begins to look more 
like muslin falling into folds about the portion so mysteriously rising. 
By the time it has attained two or more feet in height, it looks as if 
a child were under it and moving its arms about in all directions as if 
manipulating something underneath. It continues rising, oftentimes 
sinking somewhat to rise again higher than before, until it attains the 
height of about five feet, when its form can be seen as if arranging the 
folds of drapery about its figure. Presently the arms rise considerably 
above the head and open outwards through a mass of cloud-like spirit 
drapery, and Yolande stands before us unveiled, graceful and beautiful, 
nearly five feet in height, having a turban-like head-dress, from beneath 
which her long black hair hangs over her shoulders and do\vn her back. 
.... The dematerialising of Yolande's body occupies from two to 
five minutes, while the disappearance of the drapery occupies from a 
half to two minutes." 

In one of the illustrations published in her book she is photographed 
with her " spirit " Yolande. Later, she took hundreds of photographs, 
to test whether she could exert some mediumistic influence upon the 

^ Shadow Land, by E. d'Esperanee. London. George Redway^ 1898. 



6 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

plate. On some plates, heads and nebulous human shapes were found 
beside the person photographed. Professors Butlerow and Aksakoff 
succeeded in obtaining materialisation photographs with Mrs d'Esperance. 
Oxley made the interesting experiment, unknown to the medium up 
to the time of the experiment, of mixing the seed of an Indian plant, 
Ixora crocata, with sand and water in a decanter, and requesting the 
medium to accelerate its growth. It is said that, under the eyes of 
twenty persons, the plant developed to a height of twenty-two inches, 
with a flower composed of some 150 four-star corollas and twenty-nine 
leaves. 

Mrs d'Esperance lives in retirement in the country, or travels, and 
has quite ceased her mediumistic activity. (She died in 1919 — Tr.) 

The incompleteness and imperfection of the materialisations was 
already evident to the observers of the phantom " Yolande," which 
appeared with Mrs d'Esperance on 13th March 1896.^ The heads 
sometimes gave the impression of masks, and this was also found by 
Comte Bullet during the photography of a phantom with another 
medium. According to his view, a flat surface is materialised first, 
and this is modelled subsequently. This view receives some support 
from the author's observations as recorded in this work. 

As in Mrs d'Esperance' s book Professor Mangin - describes materiali- 
sation as a fugitive structure suddenly generated, which assumes a 
human or animal shape. Its material is not permanent, but phantom- 
like. It contains the minimum of substance necessary to produce in the 
witnesses the illusion that they have a living body before them. Mostly 
it consists of outlines or sketches of hands or heads, and in order to save 
work in the formation of heads, the mysterious artist employs drapery. 
In a harmonious concatenation of all the best conditions a " Katie 
King " can be born and equipped up to the limit of illusion. She must 
vanish like the dream she is. The substance borrowed from the medium 
nmst return whence it came ; the child disappears into the lap of its 
mother. In connection with the dress of the phantom Mangin asks 
whether it consists of " apports " or materialisations, and recalls the 
well-known scene in which Katie King cut off portions of her garment 
and distributed them among those present. She then filled up the 
gaps by simply covering them with the intact portion of her drapery. 
They were immediately filled up, and, in spite of the closest inspection, 
Crookes was unable to find a seam. 

Similar to the above is the description given by the French physiolo- 
gist, Professor Charles Richet,^ of the process as observed in his Algiers 
sittings. " I see something like a white luminous ball of undetermined 
outline suspended above the floor. Then suddenly there appears, 
emerging from this white orb of light as from a trap-door, the phantom 
' Bien Boa.' It is of moderate height. He is draped in a flowing 
garment with a belt round his waist. ' Bien Boa ' is halting and 
lame in his walk. One cannot say whether he walks or glides. . . . 
Without opening the curtain he suddenly collapses and vanishes on 
the floor. At the same time one hears the noise of a body falling on 
the floor. Three or four minutes afterwards the same white orb appears 

1 Psychische Studien, 1907, p. 119. ^ Annales des Sciences Psychiques, Dec. 1907. 
3 Psychische Studieri, 1906, p. 82. 



INTRODUCTION 7 

in the opening of the curtain above the floor, then a body is seen quickly 
rising straight up and attaining the height of an adult, and then it again 
collapses on the floor." 

Richet regards this as decisive, and says : " Before my eyes outside 
the curtain, a living body has been formed, which emerged from the 
floor and vanished into the floor." (There was no trap-door.) The 
photograph of the phantom taken by Richet on this occasion covers 
the upper body and the head of the medium. One might l)e justified 
in raising the objection that, viewed merely as a photograph, without 
regard to the conditions of the experiment, it does not prove the exist- 
ence of any living being besides the medium, but that it gives the 
impression of a transfiguration, as already pointed out by Professor 
Gabriel Max. 

Within the last forty years hardly any medium has stimulated 
the study of spiritistic phenomena to such an extent, nor earned as 
many convinced adherents among men of science, as Eusapia Paladino. 
The author followed her development for about sixteen years. 

The first series of sittings took place in 1894, in the presence of 
Richet, Lombroso (Turin), Danilewski (Petrograd), and others. 

In 1898 (May-June), 1903 (February-March), there were investiga- 
tions in Munich in conjunction with German savants, and Professor 
Flournoy (Geneva). The author also took part in the tests of the 
medium arranged by Richet in August 1894 in the South of France, 
attended by the physicist Sir Oliver Lodge, Professor and Mrs Sidgwick, 
Frederick Myers and some French physicians. Lacking confidence 
in the accuracy of his own results, the author felt the need of repeated 
supplementary tests, and these took place at Rome (May 1896), Naples 
(May 1898), Rome and Naples (April 1902), Rome (March 1903), and 
lastly in Genoa and Nice (April 1909). 

This lack of confidence was also the reason why no details have 
been hitherto published with regard to the results of these fifty-five 
sittings. 

Meanwhile Eusapia submitted herself to further numerous and 
lengthy examinations by scientific commissions in Genoa, Turin, Naples, 
Paris, and other places. The careful experimental investigations of 
the General Psychological Institute ^ in Paris extended, with inter- 
ruptions, over several years. As in the case of the author and others 
who have repeatedly and thoroughly examined the medium, the 
investigators reached, in general, positive conclusions in regard to 
the reality of certain mediumistic phenomena of a special kind. I 
cannot, however, deal with these in this Introduction. The pheno- 
mena observed were the motion of objects at a distance without 

^ " Rapport sur les seances d'Eusapia Paladino a I'Institut General Psychologique eu 
190.5, 1906, 1907, 1908," par Jules Courtier (Bulletin de I'Institut General Psychologique, 
1908, p. 415). Presi'ut. — M. and Mme. Curie, Branly, Richet, d'Arsonval, Bergson, 
Langevin, Yourjewich, Miquel, etc. The Report confirms the motion, registered by 
automatic apparatus, of inanimate objects without contact with the medium, luminous 
phenomena, appearance of human shapes, contact and other telekinetic phenomena, and a 
certain proportion of fraud. For the majority of Eusapia's performances fraud could not 
be assumed. The conditions of control give a great probability against it ; but the doubts 
occasioned by the frauds discovered, prevented the observers from speaking of a scientifically 
" impregnable " certainty of proof, and only admit of subjective judgments. 



8 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

contact, table-tiltings, raps, the production of tactile sensations and 
simUar performances. 

Like Home, Slade, and Eglinton, Eusapia is chiefly a physical 
medium. The sittings mostly took place in a feeble red light, partly 
also in total darkness, but nearly all observers record some phenomena 
in a bright electric light. 

By her long years of intercourse with sceptical savants she is accus- 
tomed to experimental conditions of the most varied kinds, and is herself 
anxious to maintain a good illumination and an accurate control. 

Nevertheless, there is complete agreement among all these investi- 
gators, both those who have vouched for the genuineness of her pheno- 
mena, and those who are not convinced on this point, that Eusapia 
often deceives by well-known manipulations, that she knows how to 
free a hand or a foot, or even both hands, and thus brings about some 
of these phenomena mechanically with the aid of her own limbs. 

Thus the author had alread3% in April 1894 in Rome, discovered 
the change of the hands and the use of a stretched hair for moving 
a letter balance. During a similar experiment in February 1903, in 
Munich, the author captured the hair which she used. 

In the case of a sitting at Munich, in May 1898, Professor Lipps 
noticed that, instead of Eusapia's hand, he held the hand of the sitter 
controlling the left side of the medium. In this way she had freed 
both hands by a trick. Also the savants, Dr Eugen Albrecht, Dr 
Minde and Dr Loeb, who conducted the sittings in 1903, at Munich, 
found a regular freeing of arm or leg. 

On the 22nd of February 1903 Professor Flournoy of Geneva con- 
trolled her left side during a sitting at Munich. The author stood 
behind the chair of the medium and saw, at the moment when Professor 
Flournoy felt himself touched on the right side, the sole of a foot and 
the heel quite clearly. It cannot, therefore, be doubted that the clever 
Neapolitan used her foot in order to touch the Professor while the 
latter believed he was controlling the foot. 

On the 20th of February 1903 she produced a " direct writing " 
on my cuff. But I had remarked beforehand that she was playing 
with a pencil, and the point of this pencil was afterwards found to be 
broken off, and was probably used by her. 

On the 11th of April 1894 she pretended to bring about a suspension 
of her body, a so-called levitation, in the dark, during a sitting at Rome, 
but I found that her foot was firmly planted on the table. She had 
therefore simply got on to the table. In fact, she utilised in a clever 
way, besides her usual and well-known tricks, the weakness of the 
observers. Thus she diverts the attention to the unoccupied side, and 
complains of too great pressure by those holding her hand. She is 
able to displace her chair by small and imperceptible jerks, so that she 
may, for instance, upset a small table standing behind her by a violent 
jerk of the back of her chair backwards (Munich, May 1898). Or she 
uses the train of her dress to pull objects towards her. Whole sittings 
were often filled with such manoeuvres, which always aimed at out- 
witting the controlling sitters. And so it often happens that highly 
critical sitters see their expectations entirely repJised, and believe they 
can explain all the phenomena by means of these frauds. 



INTRODUCTION 9 

During a sitting at Munich, which took place in a gathering of 
friends on the 4th of March 1903, there was a sudden appearance of 
a branch with red flowers. As we found afterwards, the branch fitted 
exactly on to the broken stem of an azalea bush which Eusapia had 
placed in her room. It is, therefore, quite probable that she brought 
the branch with her into the sitting room. If that was done intention- 
ally, then this would, m my experience, be the only one during a long 
number of years in which she had prepared a phenomenon before the 
sitting. For, as a rule, she improvised her deceptions by a clever adapta- 
tion to the situation of the moment and by the simplest means, which 
were sometimes extremely naive, barefaced and clumsy. For instance, 
when, during her farewell sitting at Munich in June 1898 the table 
would not tilt, she simply put her whole arm under the table and raised 
it up. Even in the case of those phenomena, which must be regarded 
as genuine, she often helps. Thus she uses the support of her shin 
to raise the table into the air, or employs curtains in order to manipulate 
more freely. 

Although this mechanical production of mediumistic occurrences 
has often been observed by me, I have not been able to agree with the 
assertions of the English investigators (Sidgwick, Hodgson, and the 
conjuror, Maskelyne of London, 1895-6) that she worked with small 
apparatus brought into the sitting. I not only examined her dress 
with a ruler before every sitting, or had a special dress made for her, but 
I also had occasion to examine her whole luggage down to the last 
needle. Not the slightest suspicious objects, such as are required by 
every conjuror, could be discovered. 

In Eusapia's case we may regard the following as the causes of her 
fraudulent performances : lack of productivity, incorrect control on 
the part of inexperienced and other sceptical observers, the suggestive 
influence of mental surroundings unfavourable to the proper psychic 
tone, the desire to fulfil the wishes of the participators, a> well as bodily 
ailments or psj^chic discord. But, however frequent deceptions may 
have been in the case of Eusapia, they do not furnish any explanations of 
the genuine mediumistic phenomena observed under the most rigid 
control of the medium, as the author was able in numerous cases to 
verify. 

Since she often fell into a deep trance, we must not judge her fraudu- 
lent practices without determining in every case how far she acted 
intentionally or unconsciously. The somnambulic activity of a medium 
must not be mistaken for deliberate fraud. Eusapia Paladino's perform- 
ances have been examined several times by em.inent conjurors (such as 
Rybka of Warsaw on the 13th of December 1893), and have been 
acknowledged in their written testimony. Thus the American conjuror, 
M. Howard, said the following on the occasion of Eusapia's sittings in 
America : — 

" I have been a conjuror all my life, and have up to now exposed 
numerous mediums who produced physical phenomena, but I am 
convinced that this medium (Eusapia) actually produced elevations 
of the table, and I undertake to contribute a thousand dollars to a 
charity if any one can prove to me that Eusapia is unable to raise a 



10 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

table into the air without trick, without fraud and without help, exclud- 
ing the use of fraudulent manipulations of knees or feet or any other 
part of her body or utensils." 

Carrington, who, in conjunction with other conjurors, examined 
the Neapolitan, at the instance of the Society for Psychical Research, 
for several months at her home, and who also arrived at a result favour- 
able to the ijiediumship of Eusapia, wrote in a letter addressed to 
Light : 

" Several times I saw a third arm appearing, which closely resembled 
that of Eusapia. It proceeded from her shoulder and touched the 
experimenter sitting on the right. Both Eusapia's hands were visible 
on the table. During the sittings in the Columbia University a hole' 
was made in the roof of the cabinet and one of the experimenters con- 
stantly observed the behaviour of the subject through this small opening 
while the phenomena took place. On three different occasions I saw 
strange projections emerging from Eusapia's body — once from the middle 
of her back — and then receding into her body. These pseudopods were 
wrapped in the material of the curtain, so that their consistency cannot 
be determined. The clearest observation was made of a pointed shape, 
about a foot long, which developed from her foot. It approached the 
small table, touched the top and threw objects standing upon it to the 
floor. All this was clearly observed." 

With reference to Muensterberg's exposure of this medium, the 
well-known American psychologist. Professor Hyslop, says this : 

" The report of Professor Muensterberg is not to be taken seriously, 
for it does not prove any actual fact, but only attempts an explana- 
tion." 

Eusapia during the sittings fell into a deep hysterical somnambulism, 
and was often in a slightly dazed condition after the close. When the 
trance set in, she turned pale, her head swerved to and fro, and the eyes 
were turned upwards and inwards. She was hypersensitive, especially 
to the touch, and also to light ; she had hallucinations, delirium, fits of 
laughter, weeping, or deep sleep, and showed other typical hysterical 
convulsions. Digestive troubles also sometimes set in, especially when 
she had eaten before the sitting. In a sudden light or at a sudden rough 
touch, she cried out and shuddered, as she would under unexpected 
violent pain. Her comprehension was extremely rapid during her 
ecstasy ; she guessed the thoughts of those present very easily, especially 
if one of them suspected fraud. 

As may be seen from the symptoms of the deep trance, great care 
and reserve are necessary during such experiments. Records made by 
authors familiar with the sources of error, and having great experience 
in the observation of people, should be accorded more weight. For 
this reason those materials seem to be the most valuable which are 
collected by experts, psychologists, physicians, nerve specialists, 
physicists, chemical anthropologists and official representatives of 
science. It is true that even such men may be victims of refined fraud, 
but they employ scientific methods of investigation, and in the publica- 
tion of their reports they risk their scientific reputations. Their 



INTRODUCTION 11 

responsibility, is therefore, considerably greater than that of any private 
reporter. 

If, for instance, a savant like Morselli, Professor of Psychiatry in 
Genoa, who for many years conducted a literary war against spiritism, 
first took part as a novice and an unbeliever in the sittings with the 
medium, Eusapia Paladino, then convinced himself of the reality of 
mediumistic processes, and finally studied this subject with a scientific 
exactness and thoroughness, the judgment of such an eminent psycholo- 
gist must be of great weight. 

In reality he extended his investigation over several years, has 
studied the whole literature of the subject, and has finally published, 
in 1908, a vvork of 1000 pages in two volumes, which in exactness, scientific 
acumen, rigid self-control, and thorough information, can be compared 
to the best works of scientific literature. 

He again and again emphasises that there cannot be the slightest 
doubt of the reality of the Eusapian phenomena, and in this the author 
entirely agrees with him, in spite of the fraudulent instances above 
specified. Besides, a large number of scientific authorities, both in 
Italy and elsewhere, have confirmed the authenticity of the phenomena 
with Eusapia under the most rigid control. According to Morselli, 
the explanation of Eusapia's performances by the fraudulent change 
of hands and feet is a thing of the past. " The time has come to break 
with this exaggerated negative attitude, this constant casting of the 
shadow of doubt with its smile of sarcasm." 

Spiritism, according to Morselli's view, is a religion, and as such 
has its apostles, its priests, its dogmas, its ritual, and its sermons. 
He regards Eusapia's controlling spirit, " John King," as a suggestive 
creation from the medium's subconsciousness, as a fantastic dream 
image, as already shown by Professor Ochorowicz in Warsaw. Many 
phenomena are also in direct contradiction to the spiritistic teaching. 

The physical phenomenonology of the mediums, whatever their 
names (Politi, Miller, d'Esperance, etc.), is to-day a matter of spirit- 
istic tradition. Therefore, the savants are obliged to use the small 
table, magnetic chains, the control of hands and feet, the cabinet, 
darkness, the red light, plasticine and other limitations of the present 
investigation. 

It is true that Morselli corrected this view by admitting that the 
phenomena themselves required certain conditions. Do not certain 
chemical combinations require to be formed in darkness in the labora- 
tory ? Do not photographic plates require a ruby light ? And does 
not the night produce changes in the functions of animal and vegetable 
organisms ? 

It is, therefore, quite possible that the metapsychical or biodynamical 
performances of the medium are neutralised or impeded by light, 
which thus prevents him from producing the main phenomena of material- 
isation. 

Control also paralyses the medium and influences him unfavourably ; 
it often stops the occurrence of the phenomena. Morselli admits that 
mediumship is not a purely mechanical function like that of physical 
apparatus, but depends upon the psychic constitution of the person in 
question. 



12 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

For this reason alone it is not right to demand objective results 
from the mediums in the sense of physics and chemistry, however 
desirable it may be to replace the record of the senses by registering 
apparatus. 

Mediumship has its own essential conditions, which must be respected 
and studied by the observer. So long as spiritism develops outside 
scientific laboratories, the traditional usages of the sittings must be 
put up with. It is only when science has seriously tackled the subject 
that one can attempt to reduce the phenomena to a system. Modern 
spiritism has the same relation to the future science of mediumistic 
processes as astrology had to astronomy, and alchemy to chemistry. 
We must, therefore, endeavour to get beyond the state of raw empiricism 
in which we stand at present, to increase the confidence of the mediums 
in science and in its representatives, and use physical instruments and 
apparatus. Better even than dynamometers, balances and metro- 
nomes, in Morselli's opinion, is the photographic camera, since it 
gives positive proofs in the real sense of the word. In this con- 
nection, a large use has been made in the following investigations of 
photography, larger than has ever been done hitherto in the study of 
materialisation phenomena. 

Although the nature of the various physical phenomena of medium- 
ship is not yet entirely known, although in certain groups there is not 
yet any clear view of their subjective or objective character, various 
authors, like Aksakoff, Geley, Anastay and Morselli, have attempted the 
classification of mediumistic occurrences. 

Thus Morselli describes as the parakinetic phenomena of medium- 
ship the mechanical changes in or about inanimate objects touched 
by the medium, such as the oscillations, motions and liftings of a table, 
and the touching and motions of objects when touched by the hand of 
the medium. It is an open question whether the play of involuntary 
muscular action is able to give a sufficient explanation for all processes 
of this kind. One might have some hesitation in classifying such per- 
formances in any sense as physical mediumship. 

Morselli has attempted to classify the Eusapian phenomena under 
the head of subjective and objective phenomena. Among the subjective 
phenomena he enumerates ten subdivisions ; in the objective ones, 
eight classes with numerous subdivisions. To me this elaborate 
classification seems much too complicated, as well as unnecessary, 
in the presence of a subject in which the question of fact is not, as yet, 
sufficiently clear. 

Since the present work only concerns itself with subjective occur- 
rences and mental mediumship (modifications of consciousness, intellec- 
tual performances, dramatisation of personalities, automatism and 
psychography) in so far as they are necessary to understand the 
physical performances of Eva C., I refer those readers who wish 
to inform themselves in detail to the special literature, and particu- 
larly to the extremely careful investigations of Professor Flourno}^ 
in his work Esprits et Mediums (Geneva and Paris, 1911), as also 
to the observations of Mrs Piper by the British and American 
Societies for Psychical Research (communicated in their respective 
Proceedings). 



INTRODUCTION 13 

The most important objective performances of mediumship may be 
divided into two main groups : — 

1. Telekinetic Phenomena. 

This class comprises every sort of action upor> inanimate objects 
without contact, such as oscillations, the moving of tables (attraction 
and repulsion), the levitation of objects (raising and suspension), infla- 
tions and motions of a curtain, the mechanics of motion connected with 
the so-called " apports," and finally the generation of musical notes 
and noises at a distance (including raps and other auditory impressions). 
Also effects upon musical instruments, direct writing — in a word, all 
forms of action at a distance, no matter whether in their case the manner 
of production by the mediumistic force was the same. 

2. Teleplastic Phenomena. 

This group includes the so-called materialisation phenomena of the 
spiritists, i.e., the production of forms and materials of organic or even 
inorganic matter, in accordance with definite conceptions and thought 
images of the medium, which may have their origin in the memory, 
or in the psychic under-currents of the medium, in the mentality of 
one of the witnesses, or (in the spiritistic sense) in forces and intelli- 
gences outside the medium. 

On account of their psychogenic origin they may also be called 
" ideoplastic " occurrences. To these belong the alleged vital efflores- 
cences observed in the case of Eusapia Paladino by Lodge, Richet and 
the author ; the production of whitish threads (" Rigid Rays ") ; clouds 
and mists ; materials resembling muslin used for the clothing of the 
apparitions or of the medium (during transfiguration) ; the appearance 
of forms of an undefined character ; vague half-shadows ; visible and 
tangible hands, fingers, and heads of structures resembling human 
limbs ; impressions of these on lamp-blacked paper, or in clay ; photo- 
graphic reproductions of ideoplastic forms in various stages of develop- 
ment, including those invisible to the normal human eye ; sketches of 
artistic reproductions of faces, or fragments of animal and human limbs ; 
and finally, fully formed phantoms of distinct character and definite 
features and forms. 

In the wider sense we may reckon among the teleplastic occurrences 
certain temporary changes in the state of aggregation of matter, as 
well as the dissolution and restoration of forms of distinct inanimate 
objects, e.g., the celebrated " knot experiment," the interpenetration 
of matter, the introduction of objects not contained in the experimental 
room (" apports ") and the production of luminous objects. 

Beside the phenomena enumerated here, there are a number of phen- 
omena the existence of which is doubted by an investigator as thorough 
and free from prejudice as Morselli, e.g., change of weight of the medium, 
or of objects touched by the medium, and levitation of the medium 
(a telekinetic occurrence in the sense that the body of the medium itself 
is acted upon by the force in question). 



14 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

During 1915 and 1916 Dr W. J. Crawford, Lecturer in Mechanical 
Engineering, Queen's University, Belfast, published some new and 
detailed investigations on levitation and raps. The medium is seated 
on a weighing-machine, and, when the table is levitated without any 
contact in a bright red light, her weight increases by approximately 
the weight of the table. Any vertical oscillation of the table is accom- 
panied by an oscillation of the balance. The connection between 
medium and object is maintained by a " psychical structure," of unknown 
composition, derived from the body of the medium. This structure 
is of the " cantilever " kind, being fixed in the medium's bod}' without 
other support, unless the objects levitated are heavy, when a support 
is found on the floor. The object is gripped by this structure in a manner 
resembling suction. Raps are produced by the impact of the hard 
end of such a " psychic rod " on a hard surface. See W. J. Crawford, 
D.Sc, The Reality of Psychic Phenomena and Experiments in Psychical 
Science (Watkins, London). 

The sensations of cold, heat, and other radiations, which are often 
described, and which Morselli terms " thermoradiant " phenomena, 
are, when registered by sensitive apparatus, to be regarded merely 
as preparatory and concomitant phenomena of one of the real mani- 
festations. 

The physical phenomena — assuming them to be genuine — take the 
same course with all mediums. There are always the telekinetic and 
teleplastic processes classified above. 



ON METHOD IN MEDIUMISTIC INVESTIGATIONS. 

Even though the psychic and moral conditions of mediuniship are not 
as yet sufficiently known, we may confidently say already that they lie 
apart from the normal course of psychic events. As in the case of 
mediums for mental manifestations, the hystero-hypnotic complex of 
symptoms plays a great part in the genesis of physical manifestations, 
for the stronger phenomena require, as a rule, the presence of a condition 
of deep trance. 

Assuming that mediuniship comprises genuine telekinetic and 
teleplastic performances, the possibility of such action is no doubt 
confined within definite limits. Its production corresponds to a certain 
degree of exhaustion of the medium's organism, and this conversion 
must be accompanied by a strong bodily reaction of the medium. The 
natural principle of conservation of energy is here also brought into 
action, and the forces seem to decrease with increasing distance. In 
an impartial examination of the subject we must, therefore, reckon 
with the possibility that the transformation process does not always 
follow a regular course, that it is accompanied by a strong reaction of 
the medium, and that it depends upon the momentary psychic con- 
stellation, and principally on the mood and bodily condition of the 
person under examination. In this sense we must regard the simultan- 
eous sympathetic inuscular contractions, which, especially in the case 
of Eusapia Paladino, were definitely established, as regular physiological 
accompaniments of telekinetic occurrences. To bring about the genesis 



METHOD IN MEDIUMISTIC INVESTIGATIONS 15 

of any desired effect, a strong psycho-physical effort, a vivid act of 
volition of the medium is required.^ The person under test may, if the 
effort does not succeed at once, or if the forces available do not suffice, 
easily be led to assist, to some extent unconsciously, with the muscles, 
e.g., to further the development of the phenomenon with a coup de pouce. 
Thus we get transition products of a mixed character, e.g., help in table- 
tiltings, which the radical sceptic would inevitably attribute to fraud on 
account of the motor assistance observed. 

During actions at a distance upon inanimate objects, many mediums 
move parts of their body in the desired direction in order to facilitate 
the transfer of force ; for all experience points towards these medium- 
istic forces being limited in their effect, as already mentioned. 

In the case of Eva C. also, the participation of the voluntary muscles 
could be regularly verified during the genesis of the materialisations. 
In both Eusapia Paladino and in Eva C. the violent muscular action, 
combined with pain, groans, and gasps, reminds one of the labour of 
childbirth. The expression " mediumistic labour " denotes, perhaps, 
quite definite and frequently observed physiological concomitants 
of telekinetic and teleplastic performances. 

These motor concomitants of mediumship are a factor not to be 
neglected in observations. In combination with a vivid desire for success 
they easily lead to an unconscious mechanical execution of the task by 
the limbs. 

Ver\^ frequently somnambulists play, or represent, the " spirit " 
themselves. As soon as a dream-like condition sets in, all consciousness 
of deception may be absent. In the case of the still more frequent 
representation of " spirits " by conjuring tricks, one always finds textile 
fabrics, clothes, beards, and other " properties " for the masquerade. 
Apart, therefore, from coarse prestidigitation, we have to consider three 
classes in the production of mediumistic occurrences : — 

1. The unconsciously fraudulent representation of mediumistic 

performances in the waking and somnambulic states. 

2. Mixed phenomena, combined with automatic reflex motions. 

3. Pure unfalsified mediumistic phenomena. 

Professor Ochorowicz ^ is probably right in distinguishing conscious 
deception, i.e., the conjuror's dramatisation of mediumistic performances, 
from the frauds of mediumship. In the case of disguised, or open, 
somnambulism we should liave unconscious deception without respon- 
sibility, since there is no consciousness of fraud. To the layman the 
medium may in that case appear to be awake, but the alteration in the 
eye, and in the whole psychic demeanour of the person under test, will 
not escape the trained medical observer. 

The question of the substitution of illusory facts for genuine ones 
is not always easily answered. A reasonably reliable opinion on the 
character of the occurrence in question presupposes a rigid impartiality. 

1 The author has known cases in which the medium in a deep trance appeared quite 
passive, without participation or volition. But the psycho-physical exhaustion was always 
proportional to the performance. 

- Ochorowicz. " La question de la fraude dans les experiences avec Eusapia Paladino " 
(Ann. des sciences psychiques, 2nd Sept. 189(5). 



16 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

There must be a combination of an extreme degree of scientific scepticism 
with a personal benevolence towards the medium. The accounts 
furnished by credible and reliable observers and found in the literature 
of the subject must be examined sine ira et studio. Many so-called 
exposures have exposed nothing but the ignorance of the exposers. 
But, on the other hand, we must bear in mind the important part 
played by subjective colouring, imagination, unavoidable errors of 
observation, lapse of memory, and strain effects, in such observations 
and reports. 

We know that psychologists like Davey, Hodgson, and Lehmann 
could, after acquiring the necessary conjuring proficiency, deceive 
a number of calmly thinking persons, and impart to them a belief in 
their own mediumistic powers. And it cannot be denied that in the 
case of nearly all professional, and many private, mediums, the mechani- 
cal performance of some of their effects has been established. Thus in 
the case of Eusapia Paladino 10 per cent, of the phenomena are false, 
15 per cent, doubtful, and 75 per cent, genuine, according to 
Morselli. 

Conjuring tricks, which usually imply study and practice, must, 
therefore, not be put in the same category with mediumistic deceptions, 
at least, so far as mediums of the class of Eusapia Paladino and Eva C. 
are concerned. As a rule, mediums like these are placed at the mercy of 
their hosts or their investigators, who have every opportunity of exam- 
ining their usually sparse luggage. 

Besides, the conjuror is not dependent upon the malicious, hostile, 
or frivolous mentality of his audience. But the disturbing influences 
on the medium increase with the number of people present. The con- 
juror usually provides the necessary apparatus himself, changes the 
programme, and permits no interference with his experiments. In 
the case of the medium all this is reversed. 

Now there are people who have the greatest respect for conjuring, 
and believe that art to be all-powerful. But this overestimate is solely 
due to ignorance.^ If we consider it a priori impossible to protect 
ourselves against prestidigitation and other fraud practised by the 
mediums, we thereby declare the human senses to be incapable of 
scientific determinations of any kind. We should have to renounce all 
investigation, and particularly the psychological analysis of the insane, 
of criminals, and of simulators. Such an indefensible point of view 
clearly leads ad absurdum. A serious interest in this subject means, 
indeed, in the larger circle of savants and educated people, even now, 
a martyrdom for the investigator and the risk of being regarded as 
mentally inferior. Yet it is just the neglected subject of physical 
phenomena, constituting mediumship in the truest and narrowest 
sense, which deserves the attention and devotion of savants free from 
prejudice. 

On the other hand, every serious investigator who undertakes this 
research must guard himself against the exploitation of his observations 
by visionaries to satisfy some need of religious belief. For the spiritistic 
hypothesis rests essentially on the metaphysical tendency implanted 

^ It is conceivable that a medium might combine genuine forces with conjuring tricks, 
just as professional soothsayers may have some real clairvoyance. 



METHOD IN MEDIUMISTIC INVESTIGATIONS 17 

in mankind (experimental religion). As Richet very truly remarks ^ 
" We must make sure of the facts before we formulate general laws." 

It appears to be extraordinarily difficult to place a fact upon so firm 
a basis as to be unshakable. This requires absolute accuracy. " It 
is a great drawback to scientific progress that spiritists, theosophists, 
mesmerists and mystics have erected such fanciful structures on such 
a tiny and insecure basis. Let us be satisfied with faultless experiments. 
Theory will follow in the natural course." 

In another place Richet ^ writes similarly : — 

" At the same time I do not consider myself justified in despising 
the ' metapsychic ' facts, which must be methodically studied without 
prejudice. . . . We must not be appalled by what is strange . . . 
that which marks a discovery, the unforeseen, the unexpected, the new. 
It may clash with popular opinion, it may contradict the classic official 
teaching. Otherwise it would not be a discovery. And after it has 
come forward, it encounters a thousand denials. Even if it is as clear 
as the sun, it is not accepted. ... It is only with difficulty that we 
form the conviction of having lived in error, of having made wrong 
assertions. . . . Only unusual phenomena astonish us. A thing 
appears true because we have often seen it, but not at all because we 
have understood it, for all natural phenomena are incomprehensible." 

It is difficult, more especially for savants who have acquired a wide 
knowledge by hard work, to free themselves entirely from preconceived 
opinions and old habits of thought. 

Many an investigator is not convinced by reason. Conviction 
only sets in when he has himself observed certain facts so often that 
their existence has become to him a mental habit, a familiar thino-. 
Zollner^ already found this psychic law of inertia, and added : " This is 
a curious phase of the human spirit, and is particularly strong in savants, 
indeed stronger, in them, I believe, than in others. For this reason 
we must not always regard a man as dishonest because for a long time 
he keeps beyond the reach of proof. The ancient wall of belief requires 
much siege artillery for its demolition." 

Careful researches by English investigators have shown that human 
powers of observation are very imperfect. In his excellent work 
(already referred to) on Superstition and Sorcery, the well - known 
psychologist Lehmann of Copenhagen has fully dealt with the sources 
of errors of observation, especially in mediumistic investigations. These 
should be minutely studied by any one who approaches these experi- 
ments, so as to avoid self-deception as much as possible. Reports by 
persons lacking the necessary practice in observation should be received 
with caution. As a rule, there is hardly time during mediumistic tests, 
in presence of the often surprising and varying occurrences, to direct 
the attention to the most essential points. In this connection we must 
remember the conjuror's well-known stratagem of directing the attention 
to quite secondary matters. And, further, the employment of the 

^ Richet, Experimental Studies in Thought Transference, with a Preface by v. Schrenck- 
Notzing (Enke, Stuttgart, 1891). 

2 Richet, "The Future of Psychology" (Ubersinnliche Welt, Feb. 1907). 
2 ZoUner, Abhandlungen, Vol. II. 



18 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

sense organs, especially in dark sittings, is not possible to the usual 
extent, the sense of sight, being in abeyance. There are well-known 
errors in the mere estimation of distances, weights, etc., and therefore 
accurate measures in figures, etc., appear to be necessary. One is also 
easily deceived as to the direction and source of sound. Similar con- 
siderations apply to time. Sense impressions are often falsely inter- 
preted (" illusion "). 

As a matter of fact we find cases in the experiments with Eva C., 
in which a materialised structure in the shape of a hand, which in 
the red light was not easily distinguished from a real hand, simu- 
lated the presence of the latter, while the real hand executed the 
expected mediumistic performance. Similar observations were made by 
Professor Ochorowicz with Eusapia Paladino. The author succeeded 
indeed, in photographically recording this interesting process. In the 
case of the Polish medium, St. P., also, it was sometimes difficult 
to decide whether the red patches visible in her lap were really her 
hands. 

But the most frequent sources of error in the observation of medium- 
istic phenomena are gaps in the recollection. Unless a careful record 
is kept during each observation ^ a retroactive falsification of memory 
during the preparation of a subsequent record may reduce its 
value. 

Facts and events are unintentionally mixed up, their order of succes- 
sion is inaccurately recollected, apparently unessential points are omitted, 
and the report is unintentionally supplemented according to sub- 
jective interpretation. Thus the spiritist will, in accordance with his 
religious habit of thought, only retain that which he regards as essential, 
and his fancy will travel the old road in supplementing it. But, in the 
same way, the rooted associations of a determmed opponent will render 
valueless an experiment which is successful in the wider sense, i.e., 
which contradicts his negative conviction, so soon as the above-mentioned 
failure of memory sets in. Without hesitation he will unconsciously 
fill up the gaps of memory in his own way. He will see fraud where 
none exists, just as the believing spiritist will see manifestations of 
spirits where there are nothing but conjuring tricks. And since most 
people are already committed to some decided point of view, favourable 
or unfavourable, of these phenomena, it is exceedingly difficult to obtain 
quite unprejudiced and purely objective determinations. 

In this way the author found, not only in the Munich sittings with 
Eusapia Paladino, but also in the experiments with Eva C, that the 
facts of the phenomena were afterwards distorted by learned witnesses 
under the compelling, though unconscious, influence of their anti-spirit- 
istic habit of thought. Thus an eminent psychologist, who had observed 
Eusapia Paladino in the author's presence, asserts that during the well- 
known phenomenon of the inflation of her dress, he had seen a black 
rod manipulated by her feet, in order to pull forward some objects 
with the help of a hook attached to the rod. The author can guarantee 
the inaccuracy of this assertion, as he not only took part in observing 

J For this purpose the Roueograph, brought out by Pathe Freres in Paris, is especially 
to be recommended. It is a sort of phonograph, whose wax plates receive the dictated 
record during the sitting and reproduce it afterwards. 



METHOD IN MEDIUMISTIC INVESTIGATIONS 19 

the phenomenon, but minutely controlled the medium before and 
after the sitting. 

Another observer is at present entirely convinced that Eusapia 
wears on her left shoe an iron sole, so that she can without detection 
withdraw the left foot and use it fraudulently, while the weight of the 
shoe standing on the foot of the controller on the left, is to produce the 
impression of a strong pressure with the foot. The numerous and 
detailed observations of the medium have not substantiated this hypo- 
thesis. 

Another example : An observer of the sittings with Eva C. asserted 
in a supplementary record, written six months after the sitting, that the 
medium had only been examined over her dress, whereas the written 
record prepared by another savant immediately after the sitting gives 
an accurate account of the examination over the bare body, in con- 
formity with the statements of the other witnesses. 

These examples can easily be paralleled by similar experiences. 
Single determinations may often be of paramount importance for a 
decision as to the genuineness or falsity of a phenomenon. 

We must add that m many mediumistic performances it is hardly 
possible for one person to execute the control and observation of 1)he 
medium single-handed with sufficient accuracy. The help of a second 
observer must bo secured. Now, however careful has been the control 
by these two trained and credible observers, however much both of 
them may asseverate that they had held the medium during the critical 
moment, yet it is natural that, in these extraordinary manifestations, 
most savants would rather assume an error of attention, or observation, 
in the case of the other controller, than acknowledge the genuineness 
of the phenomenon in question. That, at least, is the author's experi- 
ence. And if, in spite of this, all objections can be met, the imagination 
will finally make soine arbitrary addition or invention. The convenience 
of thought, the tough adherence to old preconcejjtions, is in most people 
too powerful to be put out of gear by any single observation. 

If, therefore, we are to obtain reliable results, we must have a frequent 
repetition of the same occurrence, the same experiment, so that, after 
every experiment the objections and doubts suggested by mature 
reflection inay be examined as to their justification during the repetition 
of the experiment. One should, therefore, always have a large number 
of sittings with the same medium — six at least — and arrange the whole 
method, so that the same experiment may be repeated as often as possible 
in the various sittings. The conditions may be changed, at discretion, 
at every sitting, so long as the externalisation of the mediumistic force 
is not thereby impeded. 

How much emotional agitation, tension, expectation, fear, terror, 
and nervousness may hinder the power of observation and attention, 
inflame the imagination, and so produce errors of sense perception, 
amounting even to hallucination, is sufficiently known. Now, since as 
a rule — as Lehmann justly remarks— two people never commit the same 
errors of observation, their independent reports of the same event do 
not generally agree. 

The same accuracy of proof as is demanded for the genuineness 
and objectivity of mediumistic phenomena must be furnished in an 



20 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

even higher degree for the negative proof, i.e., for the presence of fraudu- 
lent manipulations when there is reason for suspicion. The latter 
problem is much the easier, but it requires a juridical accuracy in the 
establishment of guilt, i.e., it is essential to the formation of a judgment 
that all positive and negative evidence be weighed before a final con- 
clusion is drawn. 

Any hasty generalisation, importing destructive criticism of the 
representatives of the opposite standpoint, nmst be regarded as unjust, 
illogical, and as the product of a very superficial acquaintance with the 
actual state of things. The fact that a medium has been detected in 
fraud under certain circumstances, cannot, as Eduard von Hartmann 
correctly observes, lead to the conclusion that the same medium has 
been nothing but fraudulent in every case and under the most varying 
conditions. " We must examine the conditions of each case, and one 
undoubtedly positive instance cannot be refuted even by a hundred 
negative ones." Or will it be asserted, simply because simulation is 
often indistinguishable from hysteria, that all symptoms of hysteria 
are simulated ? 

After all, the point is not whether errors and deceptions occur in 
this subject, as in many other fields of scientific activity, but simply 
whether, in this case, new and genuine facts of a special kind really 
exist. Even gold diggers must first separate the noble metal from its 
ore. 

The author of this work, who has occupied himself more than twenty- 
five years with this subject, has had opportunities of observing mediums 
of all shades, both professional and private. In conjunction with other 
savants he has had occasion to reduce a whole spiritistic epidemic to 
its fraudulent causes (superstition and fanaticism) by means of careful 
and detailed investigations. He has become acquainted with the 
manipulations of the medium Eglinton, the sources of experimental 
error with the mediums Lucia Sordi and Linda Gazerra, which he has 
dealt with in special memoirs, and his own large experience has com- 
pletely convinced him that conscious and unconscious fraud play an 
enorrnous part in this matter, and that nearly all mediums will, when 
the conditions are unfavourable, when their mediumistic powers are 
declining, or simply from greed and ambition, take to fraudulent or 
mechanical production of the phenomena. 

According to my experience, I can only agree with Richet and 
Ochorowicz in regarding the psychic and moral conditions of medium- 
ship, and of the trance condition as hitherto unknown, and in considering 
its aggregate of symptoms as different from the normal occurrences 
of psychic action. ' Indeed, it almost seems as if the tendency towards 
deception and to the mechanical production of mediumistic occurrences 
is a frequent quality of mediumship, just as simulation appears as a 
symptom of hysteria, or as pseudologia phantastica is inseparable from 
certain degenerative conditions of the brain. 

We may be sure that absence of criticism, credulity, and the fana- 
ticism of spiritists, have greatly hindered the education of mediums for 
scientifically useful objects. Fanatical eagerness to experience some- 
thing a toutprix, to witness miracles, to receive signs from the " beyond," 
has rendered the crowd quite blind to the distinction between facts 



METHOD IN MEDIUMISTIC INVESTIGATIONS 21 

explicable according to the present conditions of psycho-pathology, and 
those which are not so explicable. The whole method of the spiritistic 
education of mediums, with their ballast of unnecessary conceptions, gives 
indeed an encouragement to fraud. When the believing congregation 
ends by seeing the work of a spirit hand in the falling of an umbrella, 
it is quite prepared to receive even the coarsest conjuring tricks of 
mediums as spirit greetings. 

It is true that the violent excitement of the medium during the 
performance, especially in dark sittings, makes control very difficult, 
although on the other hand, it draws the attention of the observer 
beforehand to the occurrence of phenomena, and this guards him against 
surprise. We have already pointed out that the methods usual in science 
often here entirely fail the observer. It will, therefore, be a problem 
for future investigators to devise a special method for the examination 
of mediumistic processes. 

We should, as Sir Oliver Lodge proposes, have a kind of psychic 
laboratory furnished for all kinds of experimental psychology and 
psycho-physics. Registration should, of course, be made independent 
of the sense organs, which are subject to deception, and should, as far 
as possible, be transferred to physical apparatus. A self-registering 
balance, the full use of photographic and electrical aids (such as photo- 
graphs with ultra-violet light), the use of various degrees of brightness 
of light and of spectrum colours, thermometers, and other specially 
constructed instruments, may find their place in such an institute. 
Other apparatus of a more physiological kind would be necessary 
for investigations of the medium's organism (weight, temperature, 
respiration, etc.). 

But of more importance than all these instrumental aids towards 
the study of this new force (assuming such to exist), would be the correct 
training of mediums for scientific investigations. 

Such a dream of the future can, of course, not be realised in the 
narrow circle of a private residence, especially if the medium, as in the 
case of Eva C, is regarded as one of the family, and only resigns herself 
to these experiments voluntarily, and to a limited extent. Thus, 
in such a case, we have no complete independence in the arrangement 
of a laboratory, and the author found himself in the situation of an 
observer anxious to determine the existence of a new class of natural 
phenomena in the human organism. 

In spite of this, it was possible, through the intelligent co-operation 
of the lady of the house, who conducted the mediumistic education 
of Eva C. with great ability, to make the conditions during the four 
years of experiment gradually more and more rigid and exact. The 
spiritistic group of ideas, which at first required the formation of chains, 
the singing and the addressing of the personifications appearing during 
the sittings, was afterwards put into the background, and during the 
last year played hardly any part. We had gradually discarded the 
spiritistic tradition by a slow education of the medium. Besides, all 
the sittings took place in a red light, so that during the four years there 
was not a single dark seance. We began with a single lamp and ended 
with a six-lamp chandelier of more than one hundred candle-power. 
The necessary dark room was furnished by the cabinet. 



22 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

The experiments took place in two different Paris lodgings, in a 
villa at the seaside, and in the author's house in Munich, so that any 
preparation, of the walls or floor of the cabinet, for the hiding of objects, 
was practically eliminated. 

The objective registration was based upon photography, which has 
been indicated by Lodge, Morselli, and other investigators as desirable. 
We began with a single camera, but at the end of the fourth year we 
sometimes had nine cameras, including several stereoscopic cameras, 
in action at the same time. From one to three cameras were then 
mounted in the cabinet itself. They were focused for short distances, 
and have been admirably serviceable. This method has not hitherto 
been mentioned in the literature of the subject, and was used for the 
first time with success. Unfortunately, a kinematograph, mounted by 
the author, for which a special electrical connection was arranged, gave 
no results m the case of Eva C. 

That the control of the medium herself, both before and after every 
sitting, was executed with the necessary care is obvious. 

The whole of the present work is really a monograph devoted to 
materialisation. For in the case of this medium, who is specially gifted 
for the production of teleplastic phenomena, it seemed advisable to 
develop this gift by suggestive education in every possible way, so 
as to form a firm empirical foundation for the study, by photographic 
means, of this teleplastic phenomenon so rarely found in mediums 
at present. It is possible that telekinetic phenomena, also, are founded 
upon a sort of materialisation, as indicated by the experiments of Pro- 
fessor Ochorowicz with Stanislawa Tomczyk. In this case also the 
process of materialisation might be regarded as the foundation of phy- 
sical mediumship and as the point of departure of physical performances. 
According to our observations, it is clear that the general direction 
and subject matter of the thoughts of the persons taking part in the 
experiments have an influence {either in a favourable or unfavourable 
sense), upon the psychic condition of the medium, and sometimes 
also upon the character of the phenomena produced. The mediumistic 
organism seems to be an exceedingly delicate reagent, very much open 
to the influence of suggestion. Strange as it may seem, active thoughts 
about exposures and trickery might, in the opinion of some investi- 
gators, suggestively influence the medium in this direction and lead to 
the employment of such manual aids. During any careful investi- 
gation one must also pay attention to this source of error, and one should 
exclude so-called professional exposers entirely from such observations, 
if they are such as scent corruption everywhere, without any appreciation 
of the psychological delicacy and difficulty of the problem, and prefer 
to assume collusion between the observer and the medium with a 
deceptive object, as the onh' reality in these occurrences. 

Occasionally one finds savants with a compelling, but unconscious, 
idiosyncrasy as regards this field of mvestigation. They do indeed 
attempt to put themselves into a state of benevolence towards the 
medium, and to attune their mentality to the special conditions of the 
experiment. They even declare that they will be satisfied if an experi- 
ment succeeds under certain precautions, but, afterwards, they succumb 
to the strong influence of their unconscious mental resistance ; they then 



METHOD IN MEDIUMISTIC INVESTIGATIONS 23 

bring forward quite senseless objections, and make every effort to avoid 
having to admit the possibility of these phenomena. Their view is 
that there is no other possibility than that of deception. Their whole 
effort, during the sittings, is not directed towards a determination free 
from objection, but simply towards detection of the fraudulent mech- 
anism. That such a condition of mind may suggestively influence 
the instrument of research, and hinder its productivity, is shown by 
numerous experiences. Since this mediophobia belongs to the realm 
of pathological inhibitions, it is advisable to exclude persons subject 
to it from the sittings, as was done by Eusapia Paladino on account of 
the diminution of her powers, and so as not to be induced to practise 
fraud by such influence. 

Nothing should be left undone to make the psychic conditions 
for the medium as favourable as possible. That is not always easy, 
especially if the medium, in consequence of his or her low state of 
education, has only a slight understanding of the precautions necessary 
for a scientific investigation. Nevertheless, we should never forget 
that the success of the experiment is bound up with the mood, the 
confidence, and the undisturbed comfort of the medium. By suspicion, 
even suppressed suspicion, by haughty or indifferent treatment, the 
instrument can easily be put out of tune. I again agree entirely with 
Eduard von Hartmann that it is not right that scientific men should refuse 
investigation of these manifestations, simply for the reason that they re- 
quire conditions which are not always within the power of the observer. 

Our lack of knowledge of the psychogenic factors, of the necessary 
physical and chemical concomitants inside and outside the medium's 
organism, as well as the absence of a tried experimental method for the 
investigation of the psycho-physical performances which really form 
a part of biology, distinguish these investigations from laboratory 
experiments or ordinary physiology. But even laboratory experiments 
are often dependent upon very complicated conditions, and, in any case, 
a physician does not allow his zeal for investigation to be influenced even 
by the most laboriously attempted deceptions of hysteria patients or 
insane persons. 

This does not imply that any novice can, without further ado, Avithout 
any experience or previous knowledge, without a study of the literature 
of the subject, prescribe to the medium his own conditions. The 
inevitable consequence of such procedure is a disturbing effect on the 
psychic condition of the medium and an interference with the medium- 
istic phenomena. If the mediumistic performances really represent 
a new kind of unknown force, every unprejudiced investigator must, 
in the first instance, make up his mind to be a passive spectator of what 
may be called a new class of natural phenomena. In the course of 
every observation of these occurrences, which depend upon such delicate 
conditions, he will learn to adapt himself to the peculiarities of this kind 
of investigation, as well as to the personality of the medium. As the 
confidence of the medium in the investigator increases, he will be allowed 
to exert an influence on the experiments, to choose the class of phenomena 
he wants to observe, and, finally, he will be allowed, even during the 
experiment, to exercise certain arbitrary interferences which will help 
him to arrive at a definite judgment. 



24 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

The author used this method of investigation both in the case of 
Eusapia Paladino and Eva C. In both cases he was allowed, after 
a considerable number of sittings, and after the first suspicions had 
vanished, to make suitable interpositions and arrangements to facilitate 
objective determination. Still, one must not overlook certain diffi- 
culties inherent in the character of such persons. Fear and modesty 
may control young female mediums to such an extent that they resist 
investigation of the bare body, and indeed will refuse any experiment 
rather than allow such misinterpreted interference with their feminine 
feelings. 

A medium of this kind is Linda Gazerra. The great gap in the 
conditions established in her case cancels the value of the whole work 
devoted to her by Imoda, as the author has shown in a special study, 
for any untrustworthiness in the experimental arrangements must 
necessarily shake the confidence of the critical reader, and must finally 
lead to a negative attitude even though the phenomena be genuine. 

In all interferences with the phenomena themselves, we must also 
take into account the exaggerated sensitiveness, and condition of 
excitement, in which the medium's organism is placed during its par- 
ticular performances. 

The frequently observed vital efflorescences and the doubling of 
limbs apparently can give occasion for erroneous interpretations and 
mistaken interferences. Should the latter be coarse and brusque, 
they injure the bodily condition of the entranced medium in all cases. 
We must therefore establish the following fundamental rule : 

All conditions, controls, interferences, and experiments must, as far 
as possible, be arranged in such a way that the play of these forces and the 
mediumistic performances as such, are not hindered or interrupted in their 
development or mode of action. This must be done, even at the risk of 
being accused of superficial and uncritical behaviour. 

Fanaticism for exactitude may lead to the drying up of the fountain 
from which we wish to draw our material. 

It is clear that the normal personality of the medium, as already 
shown by the whole somnambulistic objectivity of the type, is opposed 
to the psychic processes employed in the mediumistic performances 
as to something strange and compulsory. The mental contents of the 
mediumistic field and of the normal personality of the medium are 
usually self-contained, have no association with each other, and are 
brought alternately into nervous action. Thus we can understand 
the astonishment of the mediums about their own performances, their 
lack of remembrance of them, the feeling of strangeness in comparison 
with their own sphere of action, their frequent inability to determine 
beforehand the success or the kind of occurrences, and their sensation 
of innocence when found out in manipulations. Finally, we may under- 
stand their lack of appreciation of the importance of pure experiments 
as distinguished from occurrences exposed to objection. 

Following up this train of thought further, we may suppose that 
soft substances, such as the flowing dress of the medium, curtains hanging 
near, etc., can be of some advantage, and may form conductors and 
reservoirs of power, from which the effects may take their origin, besides 
giving points of support for the materialised structures. Both for 



METHOD IN MEDIUMISTIC INVESTIGATIONS 25 

the materials for the furnishing of the cabinet, as well as for the dress 
of the medium (for which knitted fabrics are preferable), a black colour 
is to be recommended. For with a black background even the finest, 
hardly visible materialised fabrics can be seen. Besides, this colour 
increases the darkness in the cabinet, and thus contributes indirectly 
to the development of the phenomena. If care is taken that the medium 
has nothing white about her, the materialisation structures, appearing 
grey or white on a black background, are very convincing. Thus 
darkness behind these structures appears to be a necessity for the 
development of the teleplasm. Yet these thoughts, which are the pro- 
duct of uniform observation of various mediums, are not to be a rigid 
rule, but only a hint. All observations made by the author concerning 
mediums agree in this, that a white light has a hindering and disturbing 
effect on the phenomena, and an unfavourable action on the develop- 
ment of the teleplasm. It is possible that the education of the medium 
in this point also plays a part, for, on the other hand, I often succeeded 
in observing the course of the whole phenomenon from beginning to 
end in a red light or in the shade of the curtain in the case of Eva C. 
According to the spiritistic view, the closed cabinet opposes the disper- 
sion of the fluid emanating from the medium. For the carping critic, 
the cabinet, the darkness of the reduced light, only exist in order to 
hide the manipulations by means of which the phenomena are fraudu- 
lently produced. That this easily understood view is generally 
applauded is not surprising. 

The recent investigations by W. J. Crawford ^ have shown that white 
light acts destructively on the pseudopods or psychic projections from 
the medium's body necessary for the production of telekinetic pheno- 
mena. It appears to produce a molecular softening of the invisible 
'" rods ; " while red light acts much more feebly. It is, therefore, necessary 
to consider the reflection, refraction and absorption of the light used in 
the seance room. 

Professor Ochorowicz employed with success a faint blue light. 
So did Paul Gibier,^ the Director of the Pasteur Institute in New York. 
But, in any case, the long-wave red rays are preferable, since they allow 
us to leave the shutter of the photographic apparatus open. On the 
whole it is better to renounce the show-pieces of the medium in the dark, 
and to use a faint illumination with a feebler manifestation. It is true 
that in a feebler light, and, therefore, also in the red light, we only see 
indirectly with the rods of the retina, which are more sensitive to light, 
and less to colour, whereas in fixation in a feeble red light,^ we use the 
" cones," on account of their central position. But these, on account 
of their greater sensitiveness to colour than to light, in general give a 
feebler general effect. Objects on which the glance is fixed, or con- 
centrated in a red light appear, therefore, feebler than they do subse- 
quently on the photograph. The eye is very easily fatigued and subject 
to error. Hence it is advisable often to close the eye and to rest it, 
instead of fixing it with an effort for a length of time. 

The exhaustion of the medium is, as a rule, in proportion to the 
strength of the phenomena. But the effort involved in the action of 

1 See p. 14. '-' Gibier, Ann. des Sc. Ps., 1901. 

3 Graetz, "Physical Ray Phenomena/' Munch. Med. Wochenschrift , No. 14, 1904. 



26 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

the medium's organism is much greater when the composition of the 
audience is unfavourable. Occasionally the mood of the mediums 
may be adversely affected by unsympathetic personalities, or by con- 
temptuous treatment ; they are abashed, nervous, and incapable of 
any performance ; for the latter necessarily involves a consciousness 
of capacity and the feeling of not being hindered. The somewhat 
suspicious refusal of very rigid conditions of control may be the result 
of a correct instinctive knowledge that they produce a ps3'^chic inhibition 
which places the whole result in jeopardy. Mediumistic activity may 
be compared with artistic creation. A good artist, be he musician, poet 
or painter, requires the necessary emotional state in order to develop 
his creative artistic power. He also is dependent on details of surround- 
ings, trifling disturbances, bodily well-being, etc. This is also the reason 
why sittings in circles having a spiritualistic and religious colouring, 
in which the medium is almost venerated as a saint, are often attended 
by better success than the so-called scientific sittings. The wise 
experimenter will, therefore, take care to secure the necessary emotional 
state of the medium, and avoid any useless waste of power. He will 
be satisfied with one to three sittings, in order that the medium may 
recover, and from time to time he will allow longer rest intervals. 
Eusapia Paladino used to be very exhausted after every successful 
sitting, especially after she had been in a state of trance. She some- 
times slept until the next midday, and was for the rest of the day 
apathetic, peevish, and monosyllabic. Her skin was usually cold after 
tihe sittings, her pulse rapid (110° per minute), and she had a strong 
feeling of fatigue. Her subsequent sleep was often restless and inter- 
rupted by vivid dreams. She had a sensitive feeling as to whether her 
performances had satisfied the audience or not, and put her ambition 
into the conviction of those present, meeting all their wishes so far as 
possible. After a failure, or perhaps a very strong effort, she might 
have a feeling of deep depression and increased sensitiveness. She 
then gave way to tears and lamented her sad fate. From a conjuring 
point of view all this would naturally be superfluous comedy, but from 
the psychological point of view it confirms the opinion of Richet, 
according to whom the psychic condition of the medium is different 
from the normal state, and requires further study. In the case of Eva C. 
also, where the number of negative sittings is very considerable, she 
feels much exhausted, according to the degree of her performances, 
and after exhaustive positive sittings she usually needs from twenty-eight 
to forty-four hours to recover the deficit in her strength. Also, she 
is often, on the following da}', dazed, and complains of headache and 
lack of appetite. 

Even in the case of the more or less spontaneous occurrence of 
her teleplastic activity, it may happen that, though for several days in 
succession she gives positive performances, she may remain entirely 
indifferent for weeks, and even months, afterwards. 

No medium escapes the decreasing phase of efficiency, and in the 
case of professional mediums who make their living out of their sittings, 
it requires a great strength of character to withdraw, and to refrain 
from filling up the gaps by manual expedients, i.e., by fraud. 

Therefore the subsequent behaviour of such mediums, who in view 



METHOD IN MEDIUMISTIC INVESTIGATIONS 27 

of their usually feeble will-power are affected by momentary, including 
unfavourable, influences, is irrelevant to the experimental results obtained 
objectively by investigators when the former are in the fulness of their 
power. 

Eva C. is not a professional medium, i.e., she is not obliged to engage 
herself for sittings for money, but can return at any moment to her 
parents and sisters. But she prefers her independence and lends her 
remarkable power freely to Mme. Bisson and her collaborators for 
scientific purposes, from gratitude for the years of hospitality enjoyed 
in the house of the Bisson family. She has no binding obligation 
towards them ; she is fully in possession of her liberty, and can dis- 
continue the experiments whenever she likes. On the other hand, 
Mme. Bisson is undoubtedly under a moral obligation to the family 
of Eva C. to guard her against any injury to her health, or danger to her 
mind, and she also has to undertake a legal responsibility for the girl 
against such things as negligence resulting in bodily injury. 

The method of education pursued in these four years has proved 
itself correct and appropriate, by the success of the experiments on 
the one hand, and on the other hand by the complete preservation 
of the bodily and mental equilibrium of Eva C. This indicates a delicate 
appreciation of the sensitive and abnormal nature of such persons. 



FACTS AND HYPOTHESES 

Granting the assumption that the mediumistic phenomena of 
telekinetics and teleplasties, induding the intellectual manifestations, 
are not the product of fraud, we must at once frankly confess that, 
whether all phenomena have the same origin, or different origins, we 
cannot in any way explain them. This must not deter us from the 
attempt to put facts once acknowledged in proper order, to analyse 
them, to form auxiliary conceptions when terms are wanting, and to 
put forward hypotheses which only retain their temporary value so 
long as they serve the progress of knowledge. 

A collection of facts is not yet a science any more than a heap of 
stones is an edifice. They must be collated, sifted and ordered, accord- 
ing to a definite point of view, in order that we may draw conclusions 
from them. It is therefore interesting to cast a glance at the present 
standpoint of these lines of investigation with a special reference to 
the theoretical interpretation of mediumistic phenomena. Most modern 
investigators are inclined to adopt the " subliminal " consciousness, 
proposed by Myers, as a basis for the explanation of the mental mani- 
festations of mediums, including the phenomena of clairvoyance, 
psychometry, telfesthesia, etc. This subliminal consciousness comprises 
the transcendental faculties, and must not be mistaken for Dessoir's 
" subliminal consciousness," which only comprises normal faculties. 
Indeed, long before Myers, the philosopher Dr Carl du Prel, formulated 
a similar theory, with the sole difference that he denoted Myers's sub- 
liminal consciousness by the term " transcendental subject." The idea 
was therefore in existence, even before the time of Myers, and found 
considerable acceptance even at the time of du Prel.^ 

Since certain tj^pes of personification, which suggest an identity 
with deceased persons, cannot be explained fully by the theory of 
Myers (quite apart from physical occurrences), investigators like Sir 
Oliver Lodge, Hodgson, Lombroso, Flammarion and others, have 
been induced to return to the spirit hypothesis, and to the belief in 
personal survival. 

1 Reference may be made to the following: Myers^ Human Personality, ('arl du Prel, 
Philosophie der Mystik, 1885. Oliver Lodge, The Survival of Man. ^Villiam James, 
Psychology and Memories and Studies, 1911. Maeterlinck, La Mart. Lombroso, Hypnoti.9che 
und Spiritistische Forschungen. Delanne, Apparitions Materialisees, Paris, 191 1. Aksakoff, 
Animismus und Spiritismus, 1894. Flournoy, Esprits et Mediums. Von Hartmann, Der 
Spiritismus (1898). 

28 



FACTS AND HYPOTHESES 29 

Flammarion says on this subject : " At the same time it seems to me 
that the spiritistic hypothesis may be mentioned with the same right 
as the other, for all discussions on it have not proved that it is untenable." 

Professor William James indicates a greater reserve in the following 
words : " If one sticks to the detail, one may draw an anti-spiritist 
conclusion ; if one thinks more of what the whole mass may signify, 
one may well incline to spiritist interpretations ; " and in another place : 
" Probably a strange will is also brought into account." In his Psy- 
chology William James does not hold back this conviction, and adds : " I 
communicate my view, not of course in order to convert any one to my 
opinion, but because I am convinced that a serious study of these 
phenomena is of the greatest importance to psychology, and because 
I think that my personal confession may lead a reader or two to approach 
the region of investigation which is usually treated with contempt by 
so-called men of science." ^ 

In another place this great psychologist says : — 

" Really powerful mediums are rare, but when one commences to 
work with them and descends into the dim regions of automatism, 
one is inclined to take many rare coincidences for rudimentary forms of 
truth. . . . The phenomena, infinitely complex in their elements, 
are as yet so little understood that concise judgments expressed by the 
words " spirits," or " nonsense," are equally unreasonable. As regards 
the question whether such types of phenomena which are ignored by 
official science exist, I am completely convinced that they do exist." ^ 

A detailed discussion of the Anglo-American investigations centring 
round the experiments with Mrs Piper is contained in M. Maeterlinck's 
book La Mori (Paris — Charpentier, 1913). He says, among other 
things : " The survival of the spirit is not more improbable than the 
marvellous capacities which we must attribute to the medium if we 
deny them to the dead, and the existence of the medium is undeniable 
in contrast with that of the ' spirit.' The marvellous capacities astonish 
us because they are isolated. Fundamentally they are not more wonder- 
ful than our thought, our memory, our imagination. . . . On the 
whole the entire dispute is a question of fact which can only be solved 
by a series of careful experiments. The time for drawing conclusions 
has not yet come." For Lombroso, the totality of all observations 
of mediums forms so close a network of proofs that it resists all attacks 
of the most rigid scepticism. 

His view approaches that of du Prel concerning the " astral body " 
and the solidarity of the phantom with the body of the medium, and 
he argues : " For, if the soul is reduced to a fluid material which only 
becomes visible and manifest under quite definite conditions, it surely 
belongs still to the world of matter " (when the word " matter " is not 
used in the sense in which it is used in the present doctrine of energy). 

The two-volume book of Delanne represents, just like Aksakoff's 
Animism and Spiritism, the spiritistic point of view of the old school. 
These two works contain large collections of material. 

On the other hand. Professor Flournoy (Geneva), without recog- 
nising, on the basis of sense observations, the reality of mediumistic 

^ Passage retranslated from the German {Tr.). 



30 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

phenomena, still considers spiritism as an error, and believes it to be a 
serious mistake to ascribe the remarkable phenomena presented by 
mediums to the spirits of the dead. 

He is convinced that the supernormal occurrences owe their genesis 
to hidden forces and laws which we do not yet know. 

These materialisations do not offer a rigid demonstration of inter- 
ferences from " Beyond," since the analysis of their psychological 
contents shows that they are merely creations of the medium's imagina- 
tion, creations of his subliminal consciousness. 

Among the best and most thorough works in German literature 
on this subject we may reckon the works of the philosopher, Eduard 
von Hartmann, who also assumes the reality of the mediumistic pheno- 
mena, but, apart from formal essential difficulties, he regards the spirit 
hypothesis as really superfluous, since in the case of both inspirational 
and physical processes, including materialisation, he depends upon 
the medium. Here we contravene an important principle of method : 
" The principles used in explanation must not be needlessly multiplied, 
and we must not suppose a second kind of causes so long as one kind 
suffices." The existence of these causes lying outside the medium is not 
proved, and the value of this hypothesis is only to be demonstrated 
by an explanation of the phenomena in question. Thus the assumption 
of such causes indicates a serious lack of critical caution. 

De Vesme, the author of the three-volume History of Spiritism 
(Mutze, Leipzig, 1909), and Editor of the Annates des Sciences Psychiques, 
considers himself bound to maintain that a key will never be found 
which fits all the metapsychical phenomena, which he considers to 
be true as a whole. In the case of physical manifestations we may in 
his view discard the spiritistic hypothesis during experiments. But 
so soon as they are accompanied by manifestations of intelligence, 
or when we have to deal with purely mental phenomena, we need this 
hypothesis, but only as a working hypothesis. In other words, the 
experimenter must, in order to get results at all, adapt himself to the 
" dramatised personifications " under which all mediums in the som- 
nambulic state carry out their performances during the sitting, but he 
must reserve himself complete liberty for a subsequent psychological 
analysis and explanation. 

i)e Vesme also prefers, on the whole, the psycho-dynamic point of 
view, since it corresponds more closely with scientific minds than does 
the spirit hypothesis, though it may be difficult to bring all observations 
into harmony with it. 

With Flournoy and De Vesme the author believes that the spirit 
hypothesis not only fails to explain the slightest detail of these occur- 
rences, but that it impedes and hinders in every way serious scientific 
investigation. For the anthropomorphic need and the metaphysical 
tendency, slumbering deep within the human soul, have historically 
always taken charge of those objects and natural phenomena, which 
mankind could not explain with the help of the learning of his time. 

That it is not impossible to bring about harmony between this 
problem lying on the borderland of human cognition and modern 
physical theory has already been pointed out by the well-known German 
chemist. Professor Ostwald, on the occasion of his review of Flam- 



FACTS AND HYPOTHESES 31 

marion's work, Unknown Forces of Nature. Ostwald cannot escape the 
conclusion that, in the case of the scientifically useful materials collected 
by Flammarion, we have to deal with observed facts which we cannot, 
in general, justly deny. Special emphasis is attached to the point 
that nearly all mediums are fraudulent, because they cannot always 
produce the desired phenomena, and yet do not wish to lose their 
reputation for special gifts. They, therefore, employ artificial means 
if the phenomena will not come. But, even after deducting these 
deceptions, there remains, as Ostwald explains, such a large amount 
of well-authenticated fact that we must attempt to get into touch 
with it. Ostwald applies the energy theory in the following manner to 
the mediumistic phenomena. " Certain human beings are capable of 
transforming their physiological store of energy (which, as we know, 
is almost exclusively present in the form of chemical energy), of trans- 
mitting it through space, and of transforming it at prescribed points 
back into one of the known forms of energy. It results from this that 
the mediums themselves are usually much exhausted, i.e., that they 
use up their bodily energy. A transformation into psychic energy seems 
also to be possible. The mediumistic form of energy can be compared, 
as regards velocity of propagation, with light, and it appears to have 
polarity, for there are persons whose actions neutralise each other. 
This view implies no fundamental contradiction of any laws of Nature. 
We have, therefore, the possibility of a science." 

This science is regarded by Ostwald as in its infancy, since it is not 
yet possible to produce the phenomena at will. " But since apparently 
the mediumistic properties are not at all rare, but are found in nearly 
every other person, though only feebly developed, a rapid development, 
in the scientific sense, is quite possible, and will, perhaps, take place 
sooner than we think." 

Though we may not share Ostwald's view as regards the frequency 
of mediumistic gifts, we must approve of his attempt to conceive and 
explain phenomena with the help of the energy theory of the Universe. 

This theory also dominates the peculiar work written by Professor 
Staudenmaier, Die Magic als Experimentelle Naturwisscnschaft (" Magic 
as an Experimental Science," Leipzig, 1912). This author thinks that 
the physical phenomena occurring with mediums must be produced 
arbitrarily and according to plan. Physiologically speaking, the specific 
energy, travelling over the various nerves, is driven in opposite direc- 
tions from that which corresponds to normal working. In seeing, 
smelling, hearing and feeling, the specific excitation travels from the 
sense organs to the brain, and finally to the consciousness. In producing 
optical, auditory, and other hallucinations, we must learn to transmit 
the energy in a centrifugal direction. According to this view, which 
is opposed to the present doctrine of hallucination, we must suppose 
that virtual reality is at the base of the false perception. Staudenmaier 
seeks to explain the physical phenomena of mediumship b}' the expulsion 
of such forms of energy {e.g., of motor energy from the fingers), as well as 
voluntary transformation of large quantities of energy in the nervous 
system. But as long as such experiments in " magic " cannot be 
produced in a manner free from objection, the hypothesis is not worth 
discussing. Perhaps the greatest advance in the knowledge of the 
elementary phenomena of materialisation is furnished by the experi- 



32 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

merits of Professor Ochorowicz ^ with the medium Stanislawa Tomczyk. 
In the first place, this experimenter observed the occurrence of 
" rigid organic rays," in 1893, in the case of Eusapia Paladino, and subse- 
quently with the above-mentioned medium. These " rigid rays " are 
thread-like connections, which are formed between the fingers of the 
medium when she brings her hands together. These may remain invisible, 
and yet exert mechanical effects, as, for instance, by the motion and 
raising of small objects without contact. When condensed, they are 
visible and can be photographed. The author was present in Paris at 
such a sitting and can vouch for the accuracy of this observation. 
Besides, it was successfully tested by several Commissions, composed 
of photographic experts and savants. These rays can, however, not 
be compared with Reichenbach's " Odic Effluvia," nor with the " N " 
rays of Blondlot and Charpentier. We have here to deal with fiuidic 
threads, which were also observed in the sitting with Eva C. by the 
author. Under a magnifying glass it appears that the thread is composed 
of points. Following up this study the author obtained radiographic 
drawings and impressions on black paper, and later, mediumistic radio- 
graphs of hands in total darkness, fluidic shadow-duplication of hands 
of the medium, with an imperfect impression on the negative, and 
finally impressions on the photographic negative corresponding to the 
thought images of the medium, i.e., " thought photography." This 
thought image acquires a capability of externalisation, and thus produces 
an objective picture. Such an occurrence must be called " material 
ideoplastics." It furnishes a transition towards an understanding 
of materialisation phenomena, and is indeed of great importance for 
their explanation. Ochorowicz illustrated his systematic experiments 
by numerous photographs. Unfortunately, the other works are dis- 
persed among periodicals, instead of being available to the reader in 
a continuous book. Not only the author's experiments with Eva C, 
but also those cited in what follows (which were obtained quite inde- 
pendently of Ochorowicz's observations), point in the same direction 
to an ideoplastic material expression of thought images of an optical 
character. 

Dr Kotik,2 ^f ]\loscow, put before a person acting as agent a clear 
sheet of notepaper, and a picture post-card, with a request to imagine 
vividly the picture transferred to the blank sheet, and to fix the atten- 
tion upon the sheet for several minutes with that idea. Then the blank 
sheet, so treated, was shown to another person acting as the percipient 
and living in another place. This person's description regularly corre- 
sponded to what was represented on the picture post-card. Kotik 
assumes, in consequence of the success of a series of such experiments, 
that a psycho-physical radiant energy is secreted by the brain at the 
moment of thought, and can be transferred to a piece of paper ; that it 
is there preserved, and subsequently may produce the same impression 
on the brains of persons having peculiar gifts. This energy, according 
to Kotik, possesses psychical and physical properties. It can, for 
instance, be collected on the surface of the body, and can be conducted 
or absorbed. He regards the subconscious self as the place of storage, 

1 Ann. desSc. Psychiques, 1909, p. 41 ; 1911, p. 126. 

2 Die Emanation der Psychophysischen Energie (Bergmanu, Wiesbaden, 1908). 



FACTS AND HYPOTHESES 33 

According to his view, thinking is accompanied by the emission of 
brain-rays having a great penetrative power. These are accompanied 
by a psycho-physical element, which may have a small penetrative power, 
and another element, which is purely psychical. We have, therefore, 
in the experiments of Ochorowicz, a psycho-physical emanation analo- 
gous to the manifestations of radio-active substances and radio-active 
emanation. The small particles of the psycho-physical emanation 
he denotes by the term " psycho-physical atoms," or, in accordance 
with the newest views, as " psycho-physical electrons." Kotik believes 
that by means of this mysterious agency he is enabled to explain numer- 
ous actual phenomena of spiritism. However daring and unconvincing 
Kotik's arguments may appear at first sight, they indicate a path of 
research, and offer us a welcome auxiliary hypothesis for the com- 
prehension of the occurrence of mediumistic ideoplastics in so far as 
their actuality cannot be denied. 

In the work already mentioned by the author and discussed in 
detail, Imoda's Phantasmal Photography, numerous teleplastic portraits 
taken by flash-light are reproduced. Among these there is a photo- 
graph, taken at Professor Charles Richet's house, by De Fontenay on the 
29th of April 1909, representing a rather distorted masculine face, 
with eyes directed upwards. Long after, on the 1st of March 1913, 
the newspaper, Le Matin, proved that this picture is strikingly similar 
to an angel head painted by Rubens. Comparing the two pictures, 
there can be no doubt that this picture was the model for the medium- 
istic reproductions. If, in consideration of the trustworthiness of both 
photographers, we may dismiss the possibility of fraud, we have here 
a typical ideoplastic reproduction by the medium, Linda G. This is 
supported by the following circumstances : The medium takes a great 
interest in painting, and has certainly seen the collection of pictures 
in the Louvre, where the original may be found. This Rubens angel 
head left a vivid remembrance in her subliminal consciousness. In the 
state of trance the dream memory of this head was translated into a 
reality. The image gives the impression more of an artistic recollection 
than that of a true copy, as we should expect, if there had been a virtual 
use of a photographic copy. Apart from the distorted expression in 
comparison with the original, the right eye is entirely covered with a 
black substance which may be regarded as a veil or hair which is not 
found in the original. 

Besides, the picture as a whole departs considerably from Rubens's 
representation. According to the view of De Fontenay, the medium 
has materialised her dream impression. In any case, it is an interesting 
example of mediumistic ideoplastics, if we assume the genuineness of 
the phenomenon.^ 

Professor Morselli ^ has also adopted this view for the explanation 
of the Eusapian phenomena. He says : "In this case the idea of 
the phenomenon, as grasped by Eusapia in a waking or half-waking 
condition, rises into the medium's subconsciousness, where the still 
unknown bio-psychic power of mediumship elaborates it. It then 

^ See Schrenck-NotzLng, Die Phcenomene des Mediums Linda Gazerra, Mutze, 
Leipzig, 1912. 

2 Psychhche Studien, 1907, p. 420. 



34 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

externalises itself, and extends over a distance corresponding to her 
mechanical power as a luminous ' ideoplastic,' or ' materialised product.' 
During the more important phenomena the medium is always in a state 
of trance, and her own will is in abeyance. There is, so to speak, an 
automatic liberation of forces which we may term ' medianimic,' and 
which are stored in the nerve centres." 

In another place ^ he admits that we know nothing, nothing, nothing 
as to how these things occur. Understanding must come later. He 
discusses no less than twenty-five explanations of mediumship. He 
regards the spiritistic hypothesis as superfluous, full of contradictions, 
uncultured, childish, too abstract and confused, and also as immoral, 
in the sense that it does not fit in with our religious and social ideals, 
and offends against human dignity. He also maintains that it is not 
proved by a single manifestation, at least so far as Eusapia Paladino 
is concerned. And the few communications which cannot be explained 
in this way, such as those of Mrs Piper and Mrs Thompson, do not offer a 
sufficient foundation for a magnificent edifice, such as has been attempted 
during the last few decades with such doubtful material. 

The psycho-dynamical phenomena which Morselli classes under the 
provisional name of " medianimity," comprise indefinite, undefinable, 
and unintelligible capacities of the human organism, which perhaps 
every one possesses to a quite small and unrecognisable degree, but 
which some personalities possess to such an extraordinary extent 
that they succeed in expressing their vital and psychic activity 
beyond the limits of the body. These powers disappear with the 
mechanism which produces them, and have, therefore, no survival. 
The intimate dynamics of such capacities are unknown to us. 

As one may gather from the above review, nearl}' all the investi- 
gators who have lately studied the phenomena of physical mediums-hip 
— which, in view of the psychogenic character of the occurrences must 
always retain some connection with psychical phenomena — incline 
towards a rejection of the spiritistic theory in favour of the psycho- 
dynamical conception, and towards a purely observational attitude, 
as represented by Morselli, Bottazzi, Foa, Richet, Ochorowicz, Kotik, 
Ostwald, Flournoy, de Vesme, de Rochas, Maxwell, etc. This is 
also the point of view adopted by the author in the following 
studies. 

In this sense the observations with Eva C. were conducted as impar- 
tially and conscientiously as possible, the records written down after 
each sitting, and in the last six months even during the sittings them- 
selves. Since Eva C.'s special gift is entirely confined to teleplastics 
or materialisation, the only possible objection that can be raised is that 
the materialisation products are somehow fraudulently smuggled into 
the sittings. The problem of control is, therefore, very simple. It has 
only to guard against the introduction or handing in of objects and their 
subsequent removal. Now. not one of the observers present in the 
course of four years was able to prove that prepared pictures or materials 
had been brought into the sittings or had been removed after use. 
Even the boldest hypotheses, based upon the mechanical production 
of the phenomena, have been refuted by a repetition of the experiments 
^ Psychische Studien, 1907, p. 545. 



FACTS AND HYPOTHESES 35 

under modified conditions which paid special attention to the possi- 
bilities suggested. The result is, and remains, a negative one, that is 
to say, it remains favourable to the medium. 

When, in view of the rigorous control of the medium before and 
after the sittings, it became impossible to cast suspicion upon her, 
the criticism directed itself upon her protectress, Mme. Bisson. But, 
quite apart from the unjustifiable and insulting insinuation against 
that lady, she has, in the spirit of a purely scientific research, repeatedly 
allowed herself to be examined by the author, both before and after 
the sittings, without any reason for suspicion ever being discovered. 
And, besides, if one really wished to continue this train of thought, 
with what motive could Mme. Bisson, living in Paris, try to deceive a 
foreign savant for four years, and with an even greater success in Munich, 
in the author's own workrooms, and under the suspicious eyes of German 
colleagues ? 

Financial motives are also put out of court by the favourable and 
well-regulated circumstances of the Bisson family. The lady's own 
expenses for these experiments (housing, clothing, and feeding of the 
medium for three and a half years, rent and furniture of the flat taken 
for the purpose of the experiments, extras for the sittings themselves) 
are many times those incurred by the author. Hysteria and a love of 
sensation do not play any part, since Mme. Bisson's bodily and mental 
equilibrium are intact. Besides, for spiritistic sensations more suitable 
objects could be found in Paris. There cannot, therefore, be the slightest 
doubt that Mme. Bisson, who also experimented with many other 
persons in the author's absence, has conducted this four years' investi- 
gation out of a pure interest in the subject, in the scientific exploration 
of the mediumistic problem. This is borne out by the French edition 
of her studies and observations with Eva C, written by herself, and 
published simultaneously with the present work. This step into 
publicity vouches for the authoress's bona fides. The imputation of 
fraudulent assistance is thus deprived of any reasonable basis. 

In order to remain within the range of a rigid objectivity, the author 
has also published the subjective interpretations of the scientific wit- 
nesses, though, naturally, some of these opinions are negative, in view 
of the limited experience of the persons concerned. To the author, 
the most essential thing was the confirmation by independent witnesses 
of the effects they had observed. To form a judgment, the author had 
four years of observation to fall back upon. It is easily understood 
that a final judgment may be different from that of witnesses who have 
only attended a few sittings. 

But the reader ought not to be swayed by the author's personal 
view. He should himself follow the development of the phenomena, 
with the aid of the records, and then form his own judgment. 

In order, however, to offer the chance of a theoretical comprehension 
of the mysterious phenomena obtained with Eva C, the author thought 
well to give the above short review of the present condition of medium- 
istic research, with special regard to the present hypotheses and attempts 
at explanation. 

Yet, in reality, it is more advisable to-day simply to verify, to observe, 
and to refrain from conclusions. 



36 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

For, as Maeterlinck ^ truly remarks : " Let us not forget that we 
here have to deal with a science of to-day and yesterday, which is 
still groping for its utensils, ways, methods, and aims, and that in 
the midst of a night which is darker than the earthly night. Not in 
thirty years will be built the boldest bridge which has ever been auda- 
ciously thrown across the river of death. Most sciences have centuries 
of useless effort and barren uncertainty behind them, and among the 
youngest of them there are probably few which promise such a harvest, 
even in the first stages — a harvest which may not correspond to what 
we believe ourselves to have sown, but which already shows many 
buds of a strange and unknoAvn fruit." 

^ Maeterlinck, "^On Life after Death" {Neue Rundschau, Feb. 1913, Vol. II.). 



MATERIALISATION PHENOMENA WITH EVA C. 

Sittings of May and June 1909 (Paris). 

Observers and Medium. 

The well-known author, Alexandre Bisson, whose dramas have also 
been performed in Germany, was induced by the phenomena observed 
in the ease of Eusapia Paladino to collect further experiences on the 
subject of mediumship. He and his wife are neither prejudiced spiritists 
nor hypersceptical critics, but simply desire to serve truth without 
any preconceived opinion. The circle of friends, collected for this 
purpose by them, does not consist of credulous persons undertaking 
these researches on account of a metaphysical need, or with the object 
of establishing communication with the " Beyond." It consists of 
sober-minded observers, who wish to judge the facts in question on the 
basis of their own tests. For this purpose the arrangement of the 
experiments was directed towards the elimination of fraudulent mani- 
pulations and self-deception. Hence, at each sitting : complete un- 
dressing of the medium, strict examination of the cabinet, use of photo- 
graphy. 

Through the kindness of M. Delanne, the author w." introduced 
into this circle, which had already, for three months befoi*. iJs arrival, 
experimented several times per week. The medium was a young girl 
of the middle classes who had already shown materialisation phenomena 
in other circles, and had only come to Paris in 1908. Since the author 
is not justified in publishing details concerning her personal and family 
affairs, he need only mention here that although Eva C. has an 
unfavourable heredity, she has not passed through any serious illness. 
The relatives of the girl are all in respectable situations in industry, or 
the Civil Service. 

Eva C.i is twenty-three years of age, of middle height, and slender 
build. She has fair hair and her body is well-nourished. She is said 
to have suffered in her second year from convulsions of nervous origin, 
but without any serious crises. Menstruation set in in the twelfth year, 
and is generally normal. Occasional tendency to bladder trouble 
after a cystitis six years ago. In 1907 she had an operation on her 
left eye for squinting {Strabismus convergens), and she is slightly feeble- 
sighted. At the age of seventeen to nineteen she had chlorotic symptoms, 
which have since ceased. Her internal organs are healthy, her pulse 

^ This report was written down by the author in June 1913, in the light of the four 
years' observations. 

37 



38 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

small and soft, 84 to 90 per minute. Her weight varies between 
110 and 117 lbs. No signs of degeneration. Largest circmnference 
of skull twenty-two inches. Fairly striking slant in the well-developed 
nose towards the left, but otherwise both sides of the face are equal, 
A few carious teeth. No disturbance of sensitiveness, or reaction to 
pressure, on tapping the skull. Eyelids equally wide on both sides. 
Pupils of normal aperture and prompt reaction to incident light. On 
the left a slight limitation of the field of vision. No disturbances of 
visual acuity or sense of colour. The scleral and corneal reflexes are 
present, but there is no reflex of the roof of the mouth or of the gullet. 
The deep-seated reflexes, such as those of the triceps muscle and the 
knee-cap, as well as the skin reflexes, take place without difficulty. 
The dynamometric force is fifty-two on the left, sixty-eight on the 
right. There are no disturbances of motion or equilibrium. 

The ticking of a watch is perceived at eleven inches on the left and 
at twelve inches on the right. 

Eva C. is very sensitive to olfactory impressions, while her sense 
of taste is normal. 

The sensitiveness of the skin in the axillar region of both upper 
arms is exaggerated. There is a slight hypersesthesia for pin-pricks, 
but the sensations of touch, heat and cold, of pain and of pointed and 
blunt objects, as well as suggestions of the muscular sense, are correctly 
perceived and localised. 

Pronunciation, comprehension of words, and optical recollections 
are undisturbed. Hallucinations are denied. Sleep and appetite 
in general are good. Eva left school at seventeen and a half years. 
Her mediumistic gifts were discovered by accident when a relative 
operated in her presence with another test person. In her family 
circle spiritualistic sittings were held with Eva C. four or five years 
before the beginning of the Paris experiments. Another series of tests 
was made in the house of an English lady. 

As regards her psychology there are no disturbances of attention, 
Eva easily follows conversations taking place in her presence, and 
sometimes shows a vivid interest. She is well-informed on general 
conditions of life, so far as they affect her personally, and readily answers 
questions about her life-history, and about events of the near and 
remote past. Her range of knowledge corresponds to her level of 
education. She can quote what she reads, hears, or sees, with facility, 
and can correctly render the details of a picture she has contemplated 
for a single second. She has a good memory for figures, and solves 
arithmetical problems without difficulty. 

She has a vivid imagination, which is sometimes so exaggerated 
that truth and fiction can no longer be distinguished. She has a high 
suggestibility, especially for momentary impressions. She gives no 
coherent answers to abstract questions, such as : What is the difference 
between a storm and a hurricane ; why a stone falls to the ground 
and does not ascend towards the sky ; or how the political parties 
of her country are composed ? She obviously regards such questions 
as distasteful. There is very imperfect development of the logical 
faculty. Instead, there is a mechanical reproduction of opinions over- 
heard, without the consciousness that these are taken from memorv. 



SITTINGS OF MAY AND JUNE 1909 (PARIS) 39 

and are not the result of her own thought. Her mood is unstable, 
and easily excitable. The momentary emotion dominates her mental 
life. She greatly depends upon her emotional state, and is quite inacces- 
sible to any educational influences during her intermittent fits of temper. 
In such cases one must either await the subsidence of the crisis, which 
may last for days, or try to eliminate it by hypnotism and suggestion. 

Her sympathy and antipathy towards people are very vivid. But 
her ethical feelings are purely egocentric. She has a lack of sincerity 
towards herself ; but in social intercourse she usually gives a friendly, 
serene and amiable impression, though she knows how to hide her 
feelings in order afterwards to give way to them with an hysterical 
exaggeration. She is easily influenced and impulsive, and is readily 
led to make unfounded accusations, and to fall into fits of rage. The 
emotions are subject to sudden changes, so that depressions may follow 
a happy mood without any apparent reason. It is clear that in the 
crises above mentioned, in which Eva C. must not be regarded as respon- 
sible, nervous and other constitutional excitations play a part. Her 
sense of sex is feebly developed, but she has a vivid erotic imagination. 
No mania or compulsory ideas. Tendency towards bodily depression 
and self-pity. Exaggerated notions concerning her feminine charms 
and her influence over the male sex. 

The great weakness of will in the character of the medium is explained 
by the prevalence of her emotional character, and by the lack of inde- 
pendence. She has a great faculty of adaptation to persons, and one 
might compare her relation to Mme. Bisson with that of a faithful 
dog to its master. But, in these circumstances, one can understand 
that Mme. Bisson cannot surrender her medium into other hands for 
the sake of experiments, since Eva would be equally accessible to the 
new influences as soon as she was accustomed to them. 

This passivity is accompanied by great susceptibility to hypnotisa- 
tion, as well as the faculty of accepting the ideas and intentions of 
the persons present at the sittings, and of realising these suggestively, 
or of allowing herself to be dominated by states of consciousness involving 
strong emotion. 

At the same time, we can also understand the danger which the 
suggestive idea of fraud, in the minds of the persons present at the 
sittings, might imply for the medium. 

Under such an influence she might be led to fraudulent manipulation, 
unconsciously suggested, because distinctly expected by such a person. 
The hysterical disposition, indicated by some of the abnormalities 
above specified, is placed beyond doubt by her general psychological 
condition. It is, however, not a case of an actual disease, which would 
imply hysterical fits and paralyses, but a constitutional peculiarity, 
which may facilitate the comprehension of the occurrences to be described 
in this book, in so far as they are affected by the personality of the 
medium. 

After Eva C. had, during the first period of her mediumistic activity 
in the Bissons' house (from February 1909), lived outside, she was 
received into the family in the autumn of 1910, and lived at first in 
the studio flat of Mme. Bisson, who was occupied with sculpture. When 
the latter moved to a new place, after the death of her husband in 



40 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

the spring of 1912, Eva was given a room in the new flat. From the 
moment of her reception into the family she was always treated as one 
of the family, though she was constantly controlled. 

As shown by records, some 40 per cent, of the sittings were without 
result in the first year, and 60 per cent, in the later years. In the 
aggregate, 54 per cent. In the successful sittings no phenomena, 
except materialisations, were observed ; no other physical manifesta- 
tions, such as those usually observed in the case of Eusapia and other 
mediums. Thus we find, in the case of Eva C, no raps, no table-tiltings, 
no " apports," no telekinetic phenomena, but her special faculty consists 
entirely in the production of materially formed bodies, beginning in 
barely visible and optically cloud-like or amorphous structures, and 
ending in the formation of solid materials, or organic shapes. 

The records kept of the sittings preceding the 21st May 1909, by 
one of those present, relate to such phenomena. While at first only 
white patches of an irregular shape were observed, masses of material 
were gradually developed, and outlines of human forms. At first 
hands and arms of a sketchy outline, but without the rest of the body, 
became visible. The impressions were very fugitive and the red light 
was rather dim. It was found possible to increase the illumination 
gradually as the confidence of the medium increased, as well as the 
strength of the phenomena. These optical impressions only lasted a 
few seconds ; apart from the rigorous control to which the medium 
was subjected before and after the sittings, both hands could in this 
period of experiment be observed to remain at rest in the same position 
while the occurrences took place. In the end some human faces were 
seen and flash-light photos could be taken. As a rule, the medium had 
no subsequent recollection of her trance condition. 



Sitting of the 21st May 1909. 

Present, — M. and Mme. Alexandre Bisson, M. and Mme. Andre Bisson, 
M. Chevreuil (Painter), Mr R. M., M. Delanne, and the author. 

Scene of the Sittings. — Small room resembling a studio, situated on 
the fifth floor of the house. No. 199 Avenue Victor Hugo. 
This room was 17 feet long and 10 feet wide, and had 
a single door leading into an adjacent bedroom. This door 
led into a kind of recess, formed by a stove occupying 32 
inches square, and having a chimney slanting towards the 
ceiling. The opening of this recess was closed up by means 
of a heavy^ curtain. The whole inner wall consisted of a black 
lining material ; the piece hanging over the door had to be 
lifted if the door was to be opened. The lining was fastened 
by means of tacks. 

In the same way the light wicker chair in which Eva sat was covered 
with black stuff. A careful examination of the cabinet and the chair 
gave a negative result. There were no secret doors or compartments. 
Wherever a hand could be introduced into the stuff Lhis was done. 



SITTINGS OF MAY AND JUNE 1909 (PARIS) 41 

but with no result. The door itself was locked by me personally and 
sealed with my seal at all the sittings at which I was present, except 
at the sitting of the 21st May. The control after the sittings always 
showed the seals to be intact. At the sitting of the 21st May I kept 
the keys of the adjacent bedroom and of the experimental room in 
my pocket after having locked the doors myself. As soon as the medium 
had been hypnotised in the cabinet, which was originally done by the 
girl's relative, Mr R. M. (who, however, did not attend the later sittings), 
the curtains were closed. In order to divide the cabinet entirely from 
the room occupied by those present, a large brown meshed net had 
been nailed to the walls and ceiling of the cabinet. This could only 
be opened at one side to give access to the cabinet. At the beginning 
of each sitting it was also fastened to the floor, so that now the recess 
was entirely isolated. In these circumstances it would have been impos- 
sible to throw or smuggle any small parcel of material or any other 
utensil, from without into the cabinet. Afterwards, in November 
1909, Mme. Bisson removed the cabinet into another room and omitted 
the net. Eva requires to be hypnotised from time to time during 
the sittings. This was done in the first series of sittings through the 
net, and in the second series by the hypnotiser entering the cabinet. 
The illumination of the experimental room was provided by a sixteen 
candle-power electric lamp, covered by several pieces of red paper 
or red cloth. By adding or removing some of these pieces one could 
make the room brighter or darker. As a rule, the illumination sufficed 
for reading the hands of a watch even near the curtain (Diagram 1). 

Eva undressed before the sitting completely, and was requested 
to dress in the garments provided by those present, and carefully 
examined. This consisted of combined drawers and stockings of black 
knitted wool, without any opening, reaching to the hips and there 
sewn on to a simple black dress (bodice and skirt in one) belonging to 
Mme. Bisson, with half sleeves. She was then sewn up in this dress 
by Mme. Bisson. No other garment or undergarment was used. The 
opening at the neck, and those at the sleeves were also sewn up by 
Mme. Bisson, and Eva entered, as a rule, the experimental cabinet with- 
out shoes.^ When Eva, after this examination entered the cabinet, 
it was safe to assume that no white or otlier materials or apparatus 
for the artificial production of phenomena could be hidden either behind 
the curtain or on her body. As soon as she had taken her seat (I stood 
beside her), Mr M. approached her, rolled up his sleeves to the elbows, 
and hypnotised Eva by mesmeric passes. In about half a minute she 
sank back and went into trance. 

Mr R. M. retired, ]Mme. Bisson closed the curtain and fastened the 
net to the floor. 

The duration of the sitting was from 9.20 to 10.50 p.m. 

The first part of these sittings still took place under the spiritistic 
conditions and customs, which later were abandoned. 

After a short time the medium desired the circle to sing. Then 
those present intoned all kinds of tunes in chorus, while the less musical 
ones hummed in time. After about half an hour the curtain was 
opened from 4 to 6 inches, but only for two or three seconds. I saw 

^ At several sittings gynaecological and anal examinations also took place. 



42 



PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 



the outline of a profile of a white-clad figure of the size of an adult, 
which was then seen about six times in succession, sometimes in profile, 
sometimes in front view. We could distinctly see a white-clad figure 
of middle size and strongly marked features, though we could not see 
whether it was male or female. On the head was a closely rolled 
turban of white stuff, covering the forehead and resembling a surgical 
bandage. The medium was not visible at the same time. Once the 
head was seen fairly close to the floor and rose rapidly, after which 
the whole form was seen in profile. The hands of the medium were 
partly seen as bright patches. 

Under these conditions the phantom appeared once on the right 
side of the medium in the same costume. The curtain was drawn in 
from behind and opened again at once. The medium in her black dress 
stood before us. Hardly two seconds had been required to make the 
image disappear. 

After the sitting Eva was again carefully examined, and so was the 
cabinet, but no suspicious circumstances were found. 










Cabinet 


mil 




J2//7J. 




i 






"/Ve? 


% 


X 
> 


X ^ 
< X 






X Jea/s 






Camera 



/O/A 



Diagram I. 



SITTINGS OF MAY AND JUNE 1909 (PARIS) 43 



Sitting of the 25th May 1909. 

Present. — M. and Mme. Alexandre Bisson, M. Andre Bisson (son of 
the last-named), M. Chevreuil, Mr R. M., Dr V. (Physician), 
and the author. 

Preparations. — Control and dress of the medium, illumination, locking 
of the doors, etc., as on the 21st. 

Time of Sitting.— 9. So to 10.20 p.m. 

Before commencing the experiments the medium was undressed and 
Mme. Bisson performed a gynaecological examination. 

Eva was to-day only hypnotised by her relative after the net had 
been lowered and fastened. Mr R. M. touched her fingers through 
the meshes and hypnotised the medium by Braid's method. I sat 
immediately in front of the curtains and saw, as a first phenomenon, a 
white and apparently soft mass, ascending on the side of the left ankle 
of the medium in the shape of a v/hite column about 2 inches wide. 
It attained a length of about 20 inches and then disappeared. 
During this occurrence the left hand lay quietly visible on the left knee. 

Shortly afterwards we saw during the next very short exposure a 
white-clad figure in front view, with its head surrounded by a turban- 
like bandage. The face was beardless, the dress of the upper body was 
light, of a bluish colour. The body was bent over in front, but no arms 
or legs were visible. 

This figure showed itself three times, but only for a few seconds. 
It may have been the medium " transfigured." 

When the curtain was opened for the third time the magnesium 
light was flashed. At this instant I clearly recognised a human face of 
female aspect. 

Immediately after the exposure the medium opened the curtain 
and advanced towards the net from the cabinet. The difference of 
time between our perception of a white form and the appearance of 
the black-clad medium was only a few seconds. Even an expert con- 
juror would have found it difficult to make the white costume dis- 
appear in so short a period. I was the first to enter the cabinet. I 
examined the dress and body of the medium before the other persons 
had approached, also the cabinet, and the chair, and found that the 
seals were intact. 

Mme. Bisson undressed the medium, and assisted her to dress, in 
my presence. Neither by me nor by any other observer was any white 
material or anything else found which gave rise to suspicion. 

Eva's pulse was 90 before the sitting and 120 afterwards. A 
picture drawn by one of those present, but which is not here reproduced, 
showed the medium in white material. The front of the head is covered 
by thi' material down to the eyes and falls down as far as the hands. 

[Sittings of the 28th May and the 1st June unsuccessful] 



44 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

Sittings of November 1909. 

Sitting of 13th November. 

Place. — Avenue Victor Hugo, 199. 

Present. — Baron Pigeard de W., Dr G. V., Mme. Bisson, and author. 

The cabinet, transferred to a more suitable room, is lined entirely 
with black stuff ; the floor is covered by a carpet which covers the whole 
room. The wickerwork easy chair is covered in black. Black curtains 
of a total width of 64 inches. The upper part of the cabinet is 
closed b}' a partition. The stuff is everywhere tacked on. Illumina- 
tion by electric light on the mantelpiece covered with several sheets 
of red tissue paper which make the room rather dark. Near the lamp 
large print can be read, but not in front of the curtain, though the hands 
of the clock can be read there. 

Before the sitting, detailed inspection of the experimental room. 
Solid floor, no depression. I pass my hand along the hem of the carpet 
to ascertain whether anything is hidden there, also under the stuff 
tacked on. The wardrobe and chair are similarly tested, but, in spite 
of every care, nothing suspicious is found which could have been used 
for the artificial production of the phenomena. Eva undressed com- 
pletely and put on a knitted garment, which consisted of a combination 
of drawers and stockings. This reached to her waist, and was there 
se^vn on to the black dress, and the sleeves and neck were sewn up as 
before. 

The supposition that she might have secreted some white stuff 
in a leather case is negatived by the repeated examinations already 
mentioned, but, supposing she had succeeded in concealing a small 
packet and producing it at her neck, by pushing it upwards along the 
skin, the subsequent folding up of such an amount of stuff as would 
cover several square yards, packing it up, and taking it back to its 
hiding-place, would not have been possible in the time allowed (two 
to three seconds). (Diagram 2.) 

Mr R. M., who had hypnotised the medium in the spring, was no 
longer present at these experiments. Before the sitting and after it, 
the author examined the medium : her arm-pits, mouth and feet. 
Eva entered the cabinet without slippers. 

Baron Pigeard, who during the last summer had made the medium's 
acquaintance at Biarritz, hypnotised the medium from now onwards. 

Eva took her place behind the curtain, P. sat down in front of 
her, touched her hands and fixed her eyes. The net was no longer 
used. For fraudulent assistance of the medium by one of those present 
could not be assumed, since the circle was often completely changed. 
Only the lady of the house was present at all sittings. Any suspicion 
against her is disposed of by the fact that the phenomena did not depend 
on her presence, for previously Eva C. had obtained the same results, 
in other circles, without Mme. Bisson. 



SITTINGS OF NOVEMBER 1909 



45 



The medium either held her hands on her knees or toolc hold of 
both sides of the curtain, to close the cabinet or half-open it for a short 
exposure of her creations. Sometimes she opened the curtain under 
the impression that the manifestations were already visible to us, but 
those present could see nothing. 

Most frequently the optical impression was too fugitive, and so 
faint in the dim red light that no detail could be made out. This 
particularly applies to representations of whole figures, no matter 
whether these are to be regarded as genuine materialisations or only 
as transfigurations of the medium. 

The first apparition, which occurred after about one hour, was 
on the right-hand side of the medium, and was preceded by a luminous 
haze on that side. I saw a figure, clad in light grey and partly white 
material, which was shown in half profile, and bent sideways over the 
medium's chair. The apparition lasted only one or two seconds. 






r 



Seance /fcxpm/ro/r? /I^^, ^^^^ 






I 



/Var^r<pl>e 



,w 






•^ 



P 



/^ccr 



o 

Cffr?7era 

C/7//r7/7e(/ P/ece 



Cc/rAsr//? /y/Tp/^fcf/eu/J 



I 




Diagram II. 



In order to represent this figure, the medium would have to leave 
her chair and stand on the right side of it. The garments of the figure 
appeared to be well fastened, but the impression was very fugitive 
and the medium was not simultaneously visible. 

After a short time the phenomenon was seen again. This time 
it stood in front of the chair and showed itself in front view through 
the gap in the curtains. I thought I recognised the medium's face, 
and could distinctly see a turban covering the head. 

Immediately the curtain was closed Eva groaned and wished to 
be soothed by the hypnotiser. Baron P. He opened the curtains, entered 
the cabinet and seized her hands. Neither he nor any of the others 



46 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

could see a trace of white material when the curtain was opened on 
the dark background. 

Baron P, retired, closed the cabinet and sat down on his chair. 
He had hardly taken his place when the curtain was opened again, 
and this time a quite brightly clad apparition stood on the left side 
of the medium, a middle-sized figure. It showed no distinctly marked 
shape, but collapsed before our eyes, as though vanishing into the floor. 
This process was also very short, and allowed of no detailed observations. 

In future, minor processes of imperfect materialisation will only 
be mentioned for purpose of completeness. 

Eva was then awakened by the hypnotiser, and was examined by 
us again without our detecting anything suspicious. The subsequent 
examination which I made of the cabinet and the chair was also nega- 
tive. The awakened medium had no recollection of what had happened 
during the sitting. 



Sitting of 19th November 1909. 

Negative. At this sitting the author hypnotised and awakened 
the medium. 



Sitting of 21st November 1909. 

Conditions as on 13th November 1909. 

Present. — M. and Mme. Bisson, Baron Pigeard, Dr M., several ladies 
and the author. 

Dr M. joined me in examining the cabinet and the medium. The 
red light was, on this day, a little darker than usual. 

After about forty-five minutes a white strip, about a yard high, 
was first seen at the lower gap in the curtains, and then a white-clad 
figure. 

Then, at the right side of the curtain, an apparition was seen, obviously 
taller than the medium, which put out a rather voluminous head 
seemingly wrapped up in veils. Several beginnings or attempts at 
materialisations were seen, masses of fabric of a cloudy or veil-like 
consistency and light grey in colour. These were seen several times, 
and once a long moving strip of white below, as if a hand had imparted 
a wavy motion to the veil. 

We also saw the same white-clad female figure with turban as 
in the previous sittings. 

Eva herself is not clear as regards the degree of development of 
visibility of these structures. Often she opened the curtains and 
said that the creation was complete, when those present could see 
no change either in the cabinet or in the medium. We may here have 
to deal with incomplete stages of development of the supposed process 
of materialisation which the medium passes through, and feels in her 
own body. But this process requires a certain increase or change. 



SITTINGS OF NOVEMBER 1909 47 

in order to become visible to the observer. Subsequent examination 
negative. 

Sitting of 25th November 1909. 

Present. — M. and Mme. Alex. Bisson, M. and Mme. Andre Bisson, 
Frau von H., Messrs D., L., and Chevreuil, also Baron Pigeard, 
with his wife and the author. 

The illumination was brighter than before, since two electric bulbs 
with red glass were attached to the ceiling chandelier (about twenty 
candle-power). The increased light enabled us to see details which 
could not be observed before. 

A photographic camera was placed in front of the chimney, and 
beside it a paper cylinder about a yard high and half a yard wide to 
catch the magnesium vapour. 

Hypnotisation by Baron Pigeard, who sat in front of the curtain. 
I sat immediately behind him at the best distance to enable me to 
observe what happened at the opening of the curtains. When the 
observer is too close it is impossible, if whole figures appear, to survey 
all the details in the short time of only a few seconds. 

The medium before the sitting felt nervous and tired. Instructions 
about the behaviour of those present were given by the hypnotised 
medium in a whisper. These instructions were partly answers to the 
questions of Mme. Bisson and Baron Pigeard and partly independent 
statements. 

Thus the question is always put, whether there is sufficient power 
to produce the desired manifestations, whether the circle is to sing 
or to form a chain, or whether the sitting is to be closed. Several 
times during the sitting the medium calls Baron Pigeard, and some- 
times other persons, including the author, into the cabinet, and gives 
them her hands for a short time, as if she could, from this contact, 
derive power for the generation of the phenomena. As soon as Eva 
feels that the phenomena are about to take place, she asks the circle 
to sing. In quite a similar manner Eusapia usually asked those present 
to talk (parlare). The kind, character, and language of the songs are 
immaterial. Hymns or slow chants are as welcome as the Marseillaise, 
or tunes from Carmen. It is also immaterial whether or not the singing 
is in tune or in time. 

We must here take into account that a strained expectation and 
an attention, too vividly concentrated upon the beginning of the pheno- 
mena may, according to the spiritistic view, interfere with the necessary 
psychic tuning of the medium. It is also possible that the fact of 
those present being occupied with an activity of the vocal organs 
perceptible to the medium, has a soothing effect upon the latter. A 
short-sighted scepticism, on the other hand, only sees in this a diversion 
of the attention necessary for conjuring tricks. 

From the beginning of the sitting, about twenty minutes elapsed 
before the first phenomena were seen. The curtain was drawn open 
from within (by Eva's feet ?) and remained open for the whole duration 



48 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

of the ensuing phenomena, so as to form a triangular opening narrowing 
towards the top, through which the medium (in the trance condition), 
and the occurrences themselves could be fairly well observed in a good 
illumination. 

The hands rested on the medium's knees and remained visible 
during the manifestations. Eva's head was bent towards one side and 
almost disappeared in the darkness. The hems of the curtains touched 
the knees of the medium from the outside. 

Without any change in the position of the hands or the curtain, we 
saw first at the medium's left side, above her left hand, an illumination 
of the curtain at the height of about a foot and a half. This resembled 
a bright phosphorescent strip, which, however, was odourless. Then 
out of this there appeared, at about the level of Eva's head, a form- 
less mas^ of a light grey colour, about a foot in vertical height, which 
disappeared and reappeared without a change in the position of the 
curtains or the hands. The shape appeared at first vague and inde- 
finite, with a fluctuating motion, then it became visibly brighter and 
more solid, until it changed into a white luminous material, like a heap 
of the finest white chiffon veiling, apparently stretched out beyond 
the curtain by a hand and again withdrawn. Some of those present 
thought they saw a small female hand which held the stuff. In spite 
of the most accurate observation I could not perceive anything of this. 
The mass dissolved before our eyes, losing first its solid shape. Finally 
we onl}^ saw a light strip, which ascended from the quiescent hand 
and gave the impression as if a column of luminous smoke were ascending 
from it. The total duration of this remarkable process may have 
been thirty to sixty seconds. After a short pause some indefinite 
structures of various shapes w'ere seen, which condensed to luminous 
strips and balls, moved about and changed their shapes, ascended and 
descended, disappeared and reappeared. 

The strongest impression was obtained by the observers when the 
luminous smoke, proceeding from the region of the upper part of the 
body of the medium, changed into a long white band, about 2 inches 
thick and about 16 inches long, which, horizontally above the 
floor, at a height of 4| feet, joined the two hems of the open 
curtain, hanging parallel to the floor. If a comparison is allowable, 
which perhaps does not quite apply) we might compare the optical 
impression of this structure with the shape of a bleached human thigh- 
bone. In this apparently solid form, which ascended and descended 
in the air as a broad w^hite strip, there hung a bright white veil -like 
material about 16 inches square, so that the whole apparition 
resembled a small flag held horizontally. Without changing the posi- 
tion, this form ascended to a height of about 6 feet, then descended, 
and remained twenty seconds before it disappeared. The optical 
phenomenon filled the whole opening of the curtains. The medium's 
hands lay as before motionless and visible on her knees. 

It is impossible to describe this process as it was shown to our eyes. 
While the white column, condensed from amorphous material, some- 
times gave the impression of a solid body, it usually appeared to stream 
through the cabinet in strips like a white creamy substance, some- 
times proceeding in a straight line, sometimes breaking into zigzags 




Fig. 3. Drawing from report of sitting of 17 May 

I9IO, M/.DF, BY GaMPENRIEDER. 



Fig. i. Photograph by Mons. Andr:£ 
BissoN on 25 November, 1909. 




Fig. 2. Enlargement of the hand of Fig. i. 



SITTINGS OF NOVEMBER 1909 49 

or serpentine waves. Before its dissolution it became thinner, more 
colourless, resembling smoke, and then disappeared, usually in the 
direction of the body of the medium. The reddish light in the seance 
room increased the attractiveness of this interesting play of colours, 
bathing the nebulous and half-liquid or solid structures in a pale rose 
colour. The development of these creations took the form of an emana- 
tion of rays and streaks from the body of the medium as from a material 
radiation of energy, which however, probably influenced by uncon- 
scious volitional impulses, tended in its form towards definite representa- 
tions, finally flowing back into the organism (like the rigid organic 
rays described by Professor Ochorowicz). 

In the last successful sitting one could already recognise distinct 
attempts to produce human forms. Thus, in this sitting, the grey 
material repeatedly assumed a spherical shape, a more solid white 
nucleus formed within it, in size and shape like a human head, while 
the outer parts appeared to change themselves into veils and textile 
fabrics. 

It was decided to attempt a photographic flash-light record 
with the consent of the medium. For this purpose a camera 
had already been set up before the sitting, opposite the curtain near 
the stove behind the observers. Behind it a paper cylinder more 
than a yard long had been suspended to receive the magnesium vapour. 

The curtain was opened. We again saw before us a figure clothed 
in a long white flowing veil which covered the face (medium ?). The 
flash-light was ignited (Figs. 1 and 2), but, at the same moment, the paper 
cylinder caught fire, and it appeared as if the flames would spread. 
A panic took place among the audience, some of the ladies screamed 
with fright, and fled. But we succeeded in extinguishing the fire. 

With a cry of pain the medium sank back into the chair gasping 
convulsively. Baron Pigeard at once entered the cabinet to soothe 
her, but the white clothing and veiling had disappeared. The medium 
had fainted, and lay in the chair bleeding from the nose, and the sitting 
had to be closed. I slowly wakened Eva by suggestion. A close 
examination of the medium and the cabinet showed nothing suspicious. 
No white or veil-like materials were found. 

The whole fire episode was the work of a few seconds. A fraudulent 
medium would not have been able to hide the necessary masks and 
clothing during this unexpected interruption of her performance. 

On awakening, Eva C. was obviously exhausted, and showed a 
trembling of the arms. Pulse 108. Subsequent control negative. 

Hallucination of the witnesses, who all made the same observations, 
is excluded, since the photographic records confirm the optical impres- 
sions. A better illumination and a longer duration of the materialised 
structures rendered a more exact observation possible than on previous 
occasions. 

No reasonable grounds for the supposition of fraud by the medium 
can be found, however strictly one may adhere to the view that these 
unusual occurrences require the greatest caution and scepticism. 

The above record offers perhaps a contribution to the observation 
of a materialisation in the nascent state. 

The picture taken on the 26th November shows the head of the 



So PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

medium, who had obviously risen from the chair, in the opening of the 
curtains. A long veil, or an obviously very transparent soft white 
material, whose threads reminded one of cashmere wool, falls from her 
head to her knees. On Eva's hair on the right-hand side a soft vague 
and sketchy form of a miniature left hand (female), with a first finger 
pointing upwards, is to be seen. This starts from a sort of stalk or 
band quite continuous wdth the fabric, as shown by the magnification 
of the photograph, and which appears to be formed of the same stuff 
as the veil. With the help of an artificial hand-shape brought in for 
this purpose, consisting perhaps of cloth or paper, which then would 
have had to be placed on the hair under the veil, it would hardly have 
been possible to obtain this indefinite shadowy form with the soft 
fluid outline, though one has to consider a possible fault in the focusing 
of the apparatus. 



Sittings of May and June 1910 in Paris. 

Sitting of the 13th May 1910. 

From the 9th December 1909 till 10th May 1910 Eva C. had gone 
to the Riviera, and had made no mediumistic experiments during this 
period. The resumption of the sittings coincided with the time of my 
stay in Paris. I was therefore able to be present at the first sitting 
after her arrival at the Bissons' house on the 13th May 1910. Though 
this six months' cessation was favourable to the recovery of the medium, 
we were prepared to have to commence from the beginning until Eva 
recovered the necessary practice in the production of the phenomena. 

Present at the Sitting. — M. Paul D. (Bisson's nephew), M. and Mme. 
Bisson, Baron and Baroness Pigeard, and the author. 

A stereoscopic apparatus for flash-light photographs, which I had 
brought with me, was put up before the sitting. The conditions, 
room and clothing of the medium were exactly the same as at previous 
sittings. But I may again emphasise that before and after every 
sitting I carefull}^ examined the whole cabinet. 

The complete undressing of Eva C. took place regularly in the 
presence of Mme. Bisson and the other female witnesses. 

Costume : black knitted tights and black dress (no shoes). The 
dress in this and all subsequent sittings was sewn up to the tights, 
and also sewn up at the neck and at the sleeves, so that the body could 
not be touched without tearing the clothing. 

Before each of the sittings now to be described, the author examined 
the medium's hair, nose, ears, mouth, teeth, arm-pits, feet, hands 
and finger-nails. During the whole following series of sittings I did 
not find anything suspicious either before or after the sittings, so that 
the objection that the medium might have concealed small packets 
of veiling, etc., appears unfounded. 



SITTINGS OF MAY AND JUNE 1910 IN PARIS 51 

The illumination consisted regularly of three ten candle-power 
electric lamps, under red glass. With this illumination large type 
could be easily read. 

In these and the following sittings the hypnotising was performed 
by Mme. Bisson herself. On the 13th of May this was done in my 
presence at 9.40 p.m., after Eva had taken her seat in the cabinet. 
Only after the trance-like condition had set in did the others enter 
the room. 

After about forty-five minutes we saw between the curtains a broad, 
bright, whitish wisp, proceeding from the mouth of the medium, like 
a broad band across her body and ending at the knees. Its length 
was 30 to 34 inches. During this phenomena her hands rested 
on her knees, and were distinctly visible, as was her head resting on 
the back of the chair. This apparition then disappeared. We then 
saw several times some grey or whitish flakes, clouds or wisps of an 
indefinite and varying shape. The nearest red electric lamp was then 
extinguished in order to increase the phenomena, but the brightness 
appeared to be nearly the same with the remaining two lamps. 

For me, the only remarkable phenomenon in the second part of 
the sitting was the sudden appearance of a female form, wrapped in 
light grey veiling, whose head, as I noticed clearly, was swathed as in 
a turban in a cloth of the same colour. The figure stood there and 
opened the curtains for not more than one or two seconds. I had 
the impression of seeing the medium wrapped in veils. After the 
disappearance of this curious picture the medium made several attempts 
to produce similar phenomena, opened the curtain several times and 
asked if we did not see anything. But those present during these 
attempts only perceived Eva in her black dress. This and similar 
observations suggest the conclusion that the medium herself is not 
quite clear concerning the condensation process in her teleplastic action. 
She may feel that emanation is proceeding from her body, but in order 
to become visible to the human eye the process of condensation of 
all materialisations must have advanced to a certain point. It seems 
not always possible for the medium to recognise this point, unless the 
materialisation is rapidly and strongly developed. 

The phenomena of this sitting were too inconstant and too feeble 
for photographic record. Besides, the colour of the veiling was of a 
greyish yellow, or whitish, and did not show a brilliant white, as in 
the previous sittings. The sitting was closed at 11.40 p.m. 



Sitting of the 17th May 1910. 

Present. — Dr V. (Physician), M. and Mme. Bisson, and the author. 

Commencement at 9.30. Illumination, three lamps. Clothing and 
examination of the medium, and other conditions, as on the 13th May. 
Hypnotisation by Mme. Bisson. This time the phenomena commenced 
at once (Fig. 3). 

The medium opens the curtain and lies on the chair in a passive 
trance. Her head turns sideways, so that the face is partly shadowed 



52 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

by the curtain. The hands rest on her knees before our eyes, and are 
held during some of the phenomena by my colleague, Dr V. (on the 
left), and myself. She bends the head back, so that it is fully illuminated. 
We see in front of the lower half of her face a cloudy mass, at first resem- 
bling a grey mist, which moves, grows and condenses, somewhat re- 
sembling a torn handkerchief of fine grey tulle. The lower hem 
was torn, and several small pieces and strips depended from it. The 
image dissolved. We attempted a flash-light photograph, but the 
ignition apparatus failed. The medium then asked me to enter the 
cabinet. Opening the curtain I knelt on the floor at her right-hand 
side, so that my head was exactly at the height of her own. Both 
my hands held her right hand, while her left held the curtain on that 
side. Then I saw immediately in front of my eyes a large striped, 
flocculent substance, which seemed to issue from her mouth, while she 
made deep respirations and convulsive muscular efforts. It grew 
and condensed. The structure may have been 2 or 3 inches broad, 
and 16 to 20 inches long. I approached my head to within about 
6 or 8 inches, in order to observe more accurately, and saw this mass 
slowly sink with an inert motion, resembling a heap of the finest 
striped grey veiling. This followed every motion made by the 
medium's head, and yet appeared to detach itself from it. The 
structure disappeared behind the curtain. Her hands had not changed 
their position during the whole minute that this occurrence lasted. 

The author left the cabinet and resumed his place outside it. The 
medium rested while the curtains were opened, moving her head deeper 
into the shadow, but her hands still lay upon her knees and were motion- 
less. 

After a short pause she exposed her head under the same condi- 
tions entirely to the light. To our astonishment we could no longer 
see her features, for her whole head was enveloped in a large veil-like 
cloud, from which bright fragments and strips hung down upon her 
breast and knees. Before our eyes this structure dissolved like a 
fog, and the face was again distinctly seen. During the last pheno- 
menon her hands were held, Dr V. holding her right, and I her left. 
The curtain remained equally open from beginning to end. Immediately 
after the disappearance of the substance I examined her face, her 
scalp, her hair, etc., without findmg anything by means of which this 
phenomenon might have been produced. The face was indeed quite 
moist as if with mucus. Her hands trembled (hysterical tremor). 
Her muscles showed a tendency to spasmodic contraction. 

During the phenomena she groaned and trembled, and when she 
was awakened, after the sitting had lasted one hour and a half, she 
was very exhausted. 

The conditions of experiment during the phenomena described 
constitute a great step in advance. The subsequent control was 
negative. 



Sitting of the 20th May 1910. 
Negative. Eva was indisposed. Hot and stormy weather. 



SITTINGS OF MAY AND JUNE 1910 IN PARIS 53 

Sitting of the 25th May 1910. 

Present. — M. Chevreuil, Mme. Bisson, and the author. 

Conditions as before, except that to-day four red electric lamps 
were lighted instead of three. But soon, at the request of the medium, 
one lamp had to be extinguished, so that the illumination consisted 
of three electric lamps. 

As the corporeal examination before the sitting indicated, Eva 
had a piece of wadding in her right ear. She had just been treated 
by a dentist for toothache. The wadding was minutely inspected 
and put back in the ear. After the hypnotisation of the medium 
we took our places in front of the curtain, Mme. Bisson in the centre, 
Chevreuil on her left, and I on her right, and so we waited thirty-five 
or forty minutes for the occurrence of the first phenomenon. 

Eva's head was visible through the open curtain. She took hold 
of the curtain on my side and moved it to and fro, as if she wanted 
carefully to expose a structure formed in the darkness tentatively 
to the red rays. But, in spite of the obvious efforts of the medium, 
we could not perceive anything. During the first phenomenon with 
open curtains, Chevreuil held her right hand and the author her left 
hand. Loud, convulsive coughing, muscular contractions in the arms, 
deep groaning and respiration. At first a nebulous, flocculent substance 
of irregular shape appeared, gradually condensing, and descending 
slowly from her chin to her breast, but retaining its connection with 
her mouth. On the left outer rim of this mass a thread-like projection 
of about 4 inches hung down. On my expressing a wish to see more 
clearly her head, which was bent towards the left, she brought it into 
the full light and shook it several times. We then saw that the grey 
structures already detached from her head had sunk into her lap. They 
resembled a grey, folded, filmy veil of a wh'tish colour. In attempting 
a photograph the magnesium ignition failed. As I went back to it 
the medium rose and came in front of the curtain. The mass of material 
adhered to her dress. She then sank back into the chair. As soon 
as I ha^ resumed my seat she repeated the process above described 
once more. Again we saw the emanation of a smoky filmy substance 
produced as if by deep breathing. During this experiment she held 
the sides of the curtain with both hands, Avhich were perfectly visible 
to us. Again the medium rose and left the cabinet and stood before 
me, her head inclined towards the left and holding the curtains as 
if for support. 

Bringing my face to within 6 inches of her, I saw that a flocculent 
whitish grey mass floated from her mouth and hung down over her 
left shoulder, behind, down to her knees, in the form of a consistent 
substance. The structure might have been a yard long and some 
6 inches wide, and resembled a large muslin veil of the finest texture. 
A draught would set it in motion. Eva remained about half a minute 
in this position. I expressed a wish to touch the fabric. But she 
said, perhaps out of nervousness : " Not yet, later." 

While she returned behind the curtain and sat down, her hands 
remained tightly clenched on the hems of the curtain. The veil dis- 



54 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

appeared from my eyes in the darkness of the cabinet, as if dissolving 
into vapour. In this process, therefore, the hands did not play any 
part. 

The conditions of observation of the whole process from beginning 
to end were rather favourable. 

Before the last experiment of this sitting, and while the curtain 
was open, she took my hands in hers, and asked me to close the curtain 
as quickly as possible the moment she let go my hands. 

After about half a minute she let me go, and I closed the curtain. 
Shortly afterwards she quickly opened the curtain with both hands, 
and we saw standing before us a female figure, covered from head to 
foot in fine white veils, the ojiening of the curtain being about 1 
foot. After hardly one second the curtain was again closed, and then 
again quickly opened. We found Eva lying on her chair, and the 
mysterious veils had disappeared. Obviously the apparition was the 
medium herself wrapped in those veils whose production and dis- 
appearance we cannot explain. 

Eva was then awakened and was again carefully examined. But 
neither on her body, nor in the black garment, nor in the cabinet, 
did we find a trace of that strange material which we had so well 
observed. 

Sitting of the 27th May 1910. 

Present. — M. and Mme. Bisson, M. Chevreuil, Drs V. and D., 
and the author. 

Conditions as in the previous sittings. Eva was not well disposed 
to-day, and gave a sullen impression. The only phenomenon in this 
sitting was the appearance of a bright vertical wisp about a foot 
long and 2| inches wide on her left breast. Face and hands 
were visible before and during the phenomenon when the curtain was 
opened. The phenomenon disappeared after a short time, and the 
sitting had to be adjourned. 

Sitting of the 31st May 1910. 
No result. 

Sitting of the 1st June 1910. 

Examination as usual. Four combs were found in the hair, all 
other conditions as usual. 

Present. — Mme. Bisson, M. Chevreuil, and the author. 

Commencing at 9 o'clock. First phenomenon, 9.40. 

Curtain opened — head and hands visible. Eva bends forward 
and opens her mouth. An amorphous material issues from it to a 
distance of about 1 inch beyond the lips. The medium first grasps 



SITTINGS OF MAY AND JUNE 1910 IN PARIS 55 

the right hand of Mme. Bisson and guides the first finger to her mouth 
to touch the substance. Then she grasps my right liand and makes 
the same experiment with me. My finger touched a soHd substance 
of dark or nearly black colour. The sensation of touch may be compared 
with the impression obtained by touching the dark skin of a mush- 
room. During the touch which she herself made with my finger, she 
gave a strong and painful shudder and trembled violently, and it seemed 
as if she made every effort to overcome her physical aversion to this 
touch. The mass then disappeared. 

After a short pause Eva allowed her left hand to be held by Mme. 
Bisson, and her right hand by me. In this situation she rose from her 
chair, with her head bent towards the veil, so that the right-hand curtain 
covered her face. Again, as in a previous sitting, she tentatively 
brought her head into the red illumination until at last she exposed 
herself to the light completely. As before, a material issues from her 
mouth, which at first appears cloudy, then condenses and grows to 
a length of about 14 inches with a diameter of 3 or 4 inches. 
At first this cloud, resembling cigarette smoke, remained floating 
in the air without sinking. This time also she approached first Mme. 
Bisson's hand, and then my right hand to this structure, in order to 
touch it. The painful shudder was repeated at the touch. Great 
nervousness and self-abnegation were evident. In touching the cloud 
I had the sensation as if I destroyed a spider's web with my finger. 
She then drew her head behind the curtain and the phenomenon dis- 
appeared. 

After a short pause for rest the bright light appeared on her left 
hip, the curtain being open and her hands resting visibly on her knees. 
Without any motion of the medium, this bright strip became broader 
and longer, assumed the shape of a veil bunched up and partly torn, 
and finally hung down over her feet. To obtain a photograph I returned 
to the apparatus standing 3 yards in front of the curtain, and at 
this distance I could still distinctly make out the structure, which 
hung down from her head over the whole of her left side. Eva now 
rose and stood in front of the curtain. In this case, also, the photo- 
graph was a failure. The phenomenon dissolved as if into invisible 
vapour. 

During the next apparition the luminosity appeared first in her 
lap and over her right hip. It then fell like a wisp over her right knee, 
as if by its own motion, and hung down to her ankle. The lower end 
ended in a zigzag and resembled torn drapery. During this process 
I held the medium's right hand, and Mme. Bisson the left hand. The 
mouth had no connection with the fabric, as I proved by putting my 
finger into her mouth. In these circumstances the substance showed 
an independent power of motion. Having first hung down to the 
feet, it then crept like a snake slowly over the knee to the hip. The 
luminosity became ever smaller and the veil ever shorter, and-disappeared 
between right hip and shoulder. 

Towards the close of the sitting there was a repetition of the last 
phenomenon of the sitting of the 25th May. 

I held both her hands in mine. She requested me this time to 
close the curtains as quickly as possible as soon as she released me. 



56 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

I carefully executed her wish, and was about to sit down when the 
curtain, just closed, was quickly opened, closed again as quickly, and 
then opened for the second time. 

At the first opening a female form wrapped from head to foot in 
light grey veils became visible. Although the optical appearance 
only lasted one second, I was able to notice that the veils were crossed 
over the head. Behind the veil there was a female face, whose features 
were, however, not recognisable, owing to the shortness of the exposure. 
At the second opening we found the medium reclining quietly on her 
chair. Not a trace of the veiled image remained. The double opening 
and closing of the curtain had hardly taken four or five seconds. In 
this space of time we saw, before and after the phenomenon, the medium 
dressed in black, and, in between, the brightly veiled image of an 
upright female figure. 

The medium would hardly have had time to rise from the rather 
low chair, i.e., from a half reclining position, to open the curtain twice 
and close it once. But that she should also have been able in this short 
time to wrap herself, with her own hands, in veils, to fasten them 
to her hair, and to make them disappear again, is quite out of the 
question. Even the ablest conjuror could not bring about a similar 
transformation in five seconds under the same conditions. Whether 
it was the medium which here appeared in veils, or whether we had 
here to deal with an ectoplastic projection of the female figure, is difficult 
to decide. After all his practice with Eva during numerous experi- 
ments the author is sure of having made no mistake in estimating the 
time. 

The sitting closed at 11.10, with a final control of Eva C. and the 
cabinet, without anything suspicious being discovered. 

Sitting of the 4th June 1910. 

Present. — Baron Pigeard, with his wife, Mme. Bisson, M. Chevreuil, 

and the author. 

Commencement, 9.30 p.m. 

At 10 o'clock I held the left hand of the medium an^ Mme. Bisson 
the right. 

Head visible. 

Suddenly the right wing of the curtain above her hand was illumi- 
nated from behind, as if a light were upon it. Then we saw, under 
the hem of the curtain, a white mass about 16 inches, which grew 
broader below and then vanished. Then the veiled figure already 
referred to was seen again. In order to take a flash-light photograph I 
struck a match, since the ignition apparatus did not work. The pheno- 
menon disappeared immediately before the eyes of those present. 
Sitting closed. 

Sitting of the 6th June 1910. 

Negative. 



OBSERVATIONS IN BIARRITZ 57 

Sitting of the 10th June 1910. 
Present. — M. Chevreuil, Mme. Bisson, Mme. M. M., and the author. 

This time Eva was indisposed (menses) and suffering from a cold, 
and only held the sitting to oblige the author, since he departed the 
next day. Otherwise the sitting probabl}'^ would not have taken 
place. From 9.15 to 11.15 no phenomena. One of the three lamps 
was then extinguished, in order to make it easier for the medium. At 
last came the appearance of a light -coloured veil-like fabric, about 
20 inches long, and issuing from the mouth. This developed with 
the curtain open, and while I held both her hands. The fabric lay like 
a large rag on her left shoulder and breast. This formation was pre- 
ceded by violent efforts by the medium, who wished to produce some- 
thing at any cost, and was accompanied by deep respirations, hysterical 
sobs and convulsive contractions of the arms. 

The material only remained visible for a short time, and then dis- 
appeared. 

The experiment was instructive, inasmuch as it showed that, even 
under very unfavourable conditions, a special effort of will on the 
part of the medium, combined with perseverance on the part of the 
sitters, may have some influence upon the result. 

The medium lost a considerable quantity of blood during the evening ; 
she also coughed a good deal, was feverish, fatigued, and hoarse. Final 
control negative. 



OBSERVATIONS IN BIARRITZ. 

The sittings held after my departure in June 1910 did not yield 
any essentially new results. At the end of the month the Bisson 
family took up their residence in Biarritz for the whole summer, and 
Eva C. followed them in the middle of August. 

During this new period of sitting the medium was hypnotised 
every daj^ by Mme. Bisson in order to gain a suggestive influence upon 
the development of the powers of mediumship and the formation 
of the phenomena. The psychic condition during these hypnoses 
is identical with the trance of the sittings. Self-contained, it includes 
all memory images and conceptions relating to the sittings. The 
individual consciousness does not differ from the waking personality. 
It is always Eva C. who speaks, answers, and gives instructions and 
explanations. Never, during this period of her mediumistic develop- 
ment, does the change of personality, so usual in spiritistic circles, 
occur, in which imaginary individualities, regarded as foreign, speak 
or write through the medium.^ 

The mental contents of the second condition are not remembered 

1 This phase of mediumship was only observed several years later with Eva C. 



58 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

after awakening, though the whole psychic character may appear 
clearer and less constrained. The kind of phenomena observed is the 
same as that found by me during the next Paris sittings to be described 
later. 

According to Mme. Bisson the sojourn in a sunny climate had a 
favourable influence on Eva's mediumship, inasmuch as negative sittings 
hardly ever occurred. Her performances became stronger and prompter, 
and commenced to adapt themselves to the wishes of the circle. 

The conditions as regards red illuminations and the clothing of 
the medium were the same as in Paris. The phenomena usually occurred 
with open curtain. The hands and head were visible, and the former 
were often held by those present. 

In the sitting of the 30th August, at which the oculist, Dr T. B., 
was present, Mme. Bisson succeeded for the first time in drawing the 
teleplasm, or fundamental substance of materialisation, outside the 
region of the curtain and observing it carefully. Mme. Bisson writes 
on this subject in a letter of 2nd September 1910 : 

" Eva's left hand rested in the hands of Dr B., who sat in front 
of her. Her right was held in both my hands. The curtain was fully 
opened. Suddenly I felt on my hands a cool sticky mass, which touched 
me. I took hold of it and brought it carefully outside the curtain, 
without letting go Eva's hand. The mass lengthened out in my fingers 
and hung down from my hand, and I could observe it for one or two 
minutes. But while I continued to unravel it carefully it dissolved 
and disappeared in my hands. It is very difficult to describe this 
substance. I had the impression of a flat, striped, thread-like, sticky, 
cool, and living substance. It was odourless, and had a light grey or 
whitish colour. IMy fingers remained moist from the touch. The 
phenomenon was repeated about eight times, and four times I was 
able to take hold of the mass and show it to Dr B." 

In the sitting of the 2nd September this interesting experiment 
was continued. In this case the report is as follows : 

" Curtains wide open. Dr B. held the left hand of the medium. 
A sort of veil or drapery proceeding from Eva's neck hung over her 
left arm down to the ground. She carefully led my hands, held by 
her left hand, towards the veil, and I took hold of it. She cried out ; 
' That hurts me, but I wish it all the same.' I drew the stuff towards 
me. It was quite similar to the mass which I had touched on the 30th 
August. Again the same sensation of cool, moist, living threads. 
My fingers became moist. Finally I drew the piece in front of the curtain 
and formed out of it a sort of veil, by spreading it out. This veil covered 
Eva's whole left side. Eva suffered severely. The whole fabric of 
stuff and threads was reabsorbed and disappeared." 

Besides the phenomena obtained in previous sittings, the medium 
endeavoured, in this series of sittings, to form the teleplasm into human 
shapes. The members of the circle desired, for instance, a hand, a 
foot, or a head, and also sometimes wished for the form to appear in 
a given place near the medium. These experiments only partially 
succeeded, and the forms remained imperfect. Though the outlines 



OBSERVATIONS IN BIARRITZ 59 

of a hand or a head were recognised, they were not fully formed, and were 
extremely fugitive. Since the next report of my sittings deals ex- 
haustively with this class of occurrences, any further details in this 
place are not called for. 

But I might mention that Mme. Bisson had a sitting with Eva 
without any other witnesses, and during this sitting Eva wore nothing 
but a dressing-gown. After the beginning of the sitting Mme. Bisson 
persuaded the hypnotised medium to open the dressing-gown, and thus 
had, for the first time, an occasion to observe the emanation of the 
teleplasm from the bare body of the medium. It seemed to emerge 
primarily from the bodily orifices, mouth, teats, and genitals, and also 
from the hands and under the arm-pits. The emanation had a smoke- 
like or gaseous character, and formed clouds, from which structures, 
like veils and fabrics, and eventually all kinds of forms, resembling 
human limbs, developed. 

After the return from Biarritz Mme. Bisson received Eva C. per- 
manently into her house, where she was treated as a member of the 
family. This step eliminated the danger of the professional exploita- 
tion of her mediumistic power, for which favourable proposals had 
come from various quarters. It not only enabled her to exercise an 
absolute control of the 3'oung girl's mode of life, but also to conduct 
lengthy and uninterrupted observations of her powers, which developed 
more and more. 



Sittings of October and November 1910 (Paris). 

Preparations. 

During the last series of sittings in Paris, the dark cabinet was 
arranged beside a window, which did not close perfectly. Since Eva 
C, was occasionally inconvenienced by the draught, Mme. Bisson 
arranged the cabinet on the opposite side of the room and, at the same 
time, enlarged it. All the walls, the floor and the roof consisted of 
black lining, sewn together by machine, in such a way that the inner 
space showed not the slightest opening, and appeared to be made of 
one piece. I may here mention specially that the cabinet was most 
minutely examined by me, before and after every sitting, with the help 
of an electric lamp. There was not the slightest opening through 
which one could put a finger. Even where the narrow side of the 
wardrobe touched the cabinet there was a wall of the black material. 
The area of the cabinet was larger than before. Length 7 feet 
inside, depth 4 feet. Above, it was entirely closed off at a height 
of 7 feet by a roof, so that it would have been impossible to intro- 
duce objects from above. The lining was tacked on to the floor and 
sewn up with the carpet. The curtain was made of the same black 
material and liung on rings running on a metal rod covered with a 
strip of lining. There was no connection with the wardrobe, the con- 
tents of which I examined. There was no double bottom or secret 
passage. There was no access to the interior of tlie cabinet except 



60 



PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 



through the curtains. Door No. 2 led into the passage and was locked 
at the beginning of every sitting. Door No. 1 led into an adjoining 
room, resembling a studio, which had no other door. 

The light straw armchair, which stood in the cabinet, had a rather 
high back, inclined backwards, and arm-rests. The seat sloped down- 
wards behind, and was fairly long and comfortable, the lowest point 
being about a foot from the floor. This easy chair was also covered 
with black lining, and was thoroughly examined before and after 
every sitting, without, however, discovering anything suspicious. 

Seance /^oo/t? fr^?/?? 0c/:/gf'O 

< — 7//-.: 




I 






X ^ X 

^ 6 ^ 

^ SearAs 
C/ > ..... 

: o ''_C/?a/7c/e//er 






Co^ 



Ma^nes/u/n app 



\ 



90 



/V//7a^iPa> 






Diagram III. 



The illumination during the sittings was given by three or four twenty 
candle-power lamps in a pendant in the middle of the ceiling. Each 
of these lamps was contained in a ruby glass globe, as used in the develop- 
ment of photographic plates. This illumination continued during the 
whole of the sittings of this series, and sufficed for reading large print 
and for taking notes during the sittings. 

Two cameras belonging to the author, one of which was a stereo- 
scopic camera, were placed by him near the window (see plan of the 



SITTINGS OF OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER 1910 (PARIS) 61 

room), before every sitting. The red light permitted us to leave the 
camera open as long as necessary during the sittings. 
^- ' The slides with the plates (manufactured by Hauff & Lumiere) 
I put into the camera myself before each sitting, and I removed them 
myself afterwards. 

For the flash-light several arrangements were tried successively 
(igniting rods, matches, fuses, caps). These worked quite irregularly, 
and were apt to fail at the critical moment. The electric ignition, 
on the other hand, turned out to be the most reliable when it was con- 
nected with the lighting supply by means of a plug adapter. A pressure 
switch held in the hand, with flexible cord attached, allowed of a quicker 
action of the apparatus than the previous arrangements. Afterwards 
the optical impression coidd be compared with the photographic result. 
As soon as a photograph was to be taken, those present withdrew 
from the opening of the curtain, in order not to obstruct the picture. 

The clothing of the medium, before each of the sittings now to 
be described, was the same as in previous experiments. Eva un- 
dressed completely before Mme. Bisson (if requested, also in the presence 
of other lady witnesses), put on the knitted garment already described, 
which reached up to her hips, and over it, after very careful examina- 
tion, the black dress, which onl}'^ had an opening in the neck. On several 
occasions the medium allowed us to examine her in this half-dressed 
condition before the dress was sewn up in our presence at the neck 
and wrists, and sew^i up with the tricot at her hips. But, even after 
this, she allowed us to make sure by touch that no materials or utensils 
were concealed between the dress and the skin. The tricot and dress 
were thin enough to show the whole superficial anatomy of the body 
through the light fabric. No contact with the skin was possible without 
either tearing or ripping the material. 

In order to exclude the possibility of her having concealed rolled- 
up pieces of material in a hollow tooth, in her cheeks, in the external 
ear passages, or in her nose, I made her breathe before every sitting 
through the nose (each side separately), asked her to open her mouth 
widely, examined her cheeks, external ears and passages, her arm-pits 
and the felt slippers on her feet, as well as her hair and scalp. Often 
she removed the combs and black velvet ribbon from her coiffure, 
so that it was only held together by hairpins. 

Immediately after every sitting the author examined all the seams 
of the dress, the hair, and dress, and body surface again, without ever 
discovering any suspicious change either in the medium or in her dress, 
l" This examination and the sewing up took place regularly in the 
seance room. Immediately after the examination Eva entered the 
cabinet, sat down on the chair, and was put into the hypnotic trance 
by Mme. Bisson, by touching her hands and fixing her eyes. This 
lasted barely half a minute. The participators were always allowed 
to witness this process in the cabinet. Then Mme. Bisson closed the 
curtain and sat down on chair B or C. The chair A was regularly 
occupied by the author. 

After the hypnotisation of the medium the white electric lamp 
was extinguished, the red illumination having been already switched on. 



62 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

Sitting of the 19th October 1910. 
No result. 

Sitting of the 22nd October 1910. 

Present. — Mme. Bisson, the author and his wife. 

Examination and dress of the medium, and examination of the 
cabinet as usual. Illumination : three red lamps. Chair A occupied 
by the author, Chair B by Mme. Bisson, Chair C by the author's wife 
(see Diagram). 

Commencement, 9 p.m. 

The author sat barely 1 yard away from the medium, and could 
follow the phenomena even at a closer range. Very soon after the 
beginning of the sitting Eva opened the curtain with her hand, so 
that her whole figure became visible, but specially her knees and hands. 
We saw on the left some grey patches, hardly distinguishable from 
the, black background, which gradually grew brighter and denser. Sud- 
denly we saw about 16 inches above her left hand, which rested 
quietly by the open curtain, a shape having the outline of a human 
hand. This showed itself, disappeared and reappeared, remaining 
visible hardly more than a second, and reappeared again and again. 
I put forward my open right hand, and it was several times in succession 
touched, as by a blow from the hand-shaped body which was visible 
at the same time. Several times it passed over my face, from right to 
left, and I had the sensation of being touched by a strongly developed, 
and rather large, cool and moist male hand. My forehead after this 
occurrence was moistened as if by a sponge. 

While the hand, apparently suspended in mid-air, and having the 
tips of its fingers directed rather towards the medium, was producing 
these effects, Eva's hands remained steadily visible and did not stir 
from her knees. 

Just then we suddenly saw on the floor outside the curtain, opposite 
the chair C, the appearance of a bright patch where the curtain touched 
the floor, 15 or 20 inches away from the left foot of the medium 
(Fig. 4). On looking closer we had the impression that it was the limb 
of a living being (hand or foot) which emerged from the curtain. The 
shape was fiat, about 3 inches long, and of a bright pink colour, 
and most closely resembled the four fingers of a left male hand, lying 
on the floor, with only the upper two joints of the finger showing. I 
knelt down, and made sure, at the same instant, with my hand, that 
both the medium's feet were in her slippers and had not changed their 
position. Her hands lay on her knees. In about half a minute this 
phenomenon disappeared. 

Probably this was the same half-developed limb which had touched 

me. I could not perceive any finger-nails or any other details. The 

resemblance to a hand was only in bulk and outline. Its motions 

and the sensations of contact produced by it had an animal character. 

In this sittmg we again repeatedly saw, in various places and usually 



SITTINGS OF OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER 1910 (PARIS) 63 

joined in some way to the body of the medium, fabrics, resembling 
veils or clouds, in the form of delicate strips, threads, and fragments, 
and having a motion of their own. The medium's head was some- 
times inclined towards the left, and in the shadow of the curtain, and, 
therefore, as a rule, invisible. But the manner of production was 
obviously the same as in previous sittings. During the preparation 
or development of the phenomena the medium groaned, gasped or 
whined softly, and one had the impression of a strong bodily exertion. 
Once Eva gave me both her hands during the development of these 
remarkable structures. At that moment a narrow luminous delicate 
ribbon, of some sort of veiling stuff, an inch or two wide, released 
itself from her lap, and appeared to connect both her hands from one 
thumb to the other. It only remained visible for a few seconds, and 
disappeared before my eyes, without her having released my hands from 
hers. 

Eva wished to be hypnotised. Mme. Bisson entered the cabinet, 
placed her hand on her head, and encouraged the medium by suggestion. 
As she came out, some greyish fragments of the consistency of spider 
webs were found on the front of her dress and on her hair, but in a 
few seconds these disappeared, as if destroyed by the light. During 
the development of these;, apparently textile aggregates, I took the 
liberty of putting my headj^in between the open curtains to see what 
was happening there. Once I ; saw a greyish white cloudy column 
proceeding from her left upper|arm, and, later, from her right upper 
arm. It was about 20 inches long and 2 or 3 inches thick, and at 
the upper end there was the form of a small female hand, endoAved 
with a motion of its own, and with its broad side towards us. This 
hand executed graceful and beckoning motions, while the vapour column 
moved to and fro, as if keeping time with it. 

Both the medium's hands lay quietly before us on her knees, fully 
illumined by the red light. Her head reclined on the back of the chair. 
The same phenomenon was repeated on the right-hand side. We 
could not see whether the palm or the back of the hand-shaped body 
was turned towards us, neither could we see any details in the design 
of the hand. 

The same shape also appeared to execute beating and waving 
motions with something resembling a strip of muslin. This strip, 
in the course of its movement, became visible in front of the medium, 
and on one occasion touched my face (Fig. 5). * 

I also perceived a white patch in her lap resembling a strip of muslin 
bunched up. This disappeared rapidly without any perceptible aid 
from her hand. For the first time the author could, during this sitting, 
witness attempts at the formation of heads. But the optical impressions 
described in what follows were so swift, lasting barely a second, that 
the recognition of details appeared hardly possible, in spite of the 
closest attention. In this and the following sittings the forms resem- 
bling heads were shown mostly near the curtain on the medium's left, 
i.e., in front of the medium, about 30 inches away from her head, 
and at the level of the head of a man of medium height standing 
upright. At first they were only fragments of heads, and partial forma- 
tions, in which certain lines and forms, resembling faces, could be 



64 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

clearly recognised, while the rest appeared to be a dark undeveloped 
mass. Thus, I saw in this sitting a face looking upwards, in which 
I could recognise the bridge of the nose, the forehead, the hair and a 
rough outline of the head. A broad band surrounded the forehead. 
Owing to the fugitiveness of the impression, eyes and other details 
could not be recognised. The medium, of course, remained visibly seated 
on her chair during these phenomena. 

Since the curtain appeared to be inflated on Eva's left side, I again 
inserted my head in the cabinet. To my greatest astonishment I 
then saw, on my right, behind the curtain, and as far as I could see 
suspended in mid-air, a completely developed female bust, with 
its head, neck and breast completely swathed in veils. This was 
at the height of a person standing upright, while on my left, tangible 
and fully illuminated, the medium's whole body lay stretched in the 
chair. The features of the apparition could not be recognised on 
account of the veiling. This appearance lasted about four seconds, 
and was clear, beyond all doubt, and most convincing. 

The sitting lasted from 9.15 till 11.30. 

The closest examination of the medium and cabinet after the mediun 
awoke, and before she left the room, yielded no result. 

Sitting of the 25th October 1910. 

Present — Mme. Bisson, her daughter-in-law, her two sons, and the 

author and his wife. 

Time— ^.15 till 11.30. 

All conditions as on 22nd October. 

Very soon after the beginning of the sitting Eva opened the curtain 
so that her hands and body could be seen. Her head appeared as 
a bright patch, which then grew gradually darker. I had the impression 
as if a grey misty veil was covering her face, and that it could, at last, 
be seen by the eye as a cloudy drapery falling over her chest and 
becoming more and more dense. This remarkable appearance seemed 
again to proceed from her organs of respiration, and ended in a sudden 
transformation of the fabric into a bright pink strip, resembling a 
veil, and extending from her mouth to the thumb of her right hand, 
with a thickness of about 2 inches. This appearance developed 
without any perceptible motion of the hands, which were resting on her 
knees before our eyes, while her head was inclined to the right. The 
bright band remained visible for about half a minute, and disappeared 
quickly, like an electric light when it is switched off. 

The same process was repeated on the left side, the band joining 
her face with her left hand and appearing rather longer and more 
curved. 

After this phenomenon had disappeared, we saw vague and inde- 
finite forms, clouds and strips as they appear in nearly every sitting, 
which seem to furnish the elementary substance for the morphogenetic 
work. At least they represent a regular precursor for more distinctly 
marked outlines and plastic forms resembling human limbs (Fig. 6). 




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SITTINGS OF OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER 1910 (PARIS) 65 

The next observation took place under even more stringent con- 
ditions. The medium placed, for purposes of control, her left hand 
in my right hand, and her right in my wife's right hand. Thus both 
hands were held and were visible in front of the curtain. She gripped 
the curtain with the fingers of the hand held by me, as if wishing to 
shield the impending creation from a too intense illumination. In 
these circumstances we saw on her left bare forearm between the wrist 
and the sleeve two completely formed hands lying on her forearm 
at right angles to it and resembling a woman's or child's fists. The 
knuckles, and the furrow between the fingers, were clearly recognis- 
able, even at the first impression. The skin appeared a delicate pink 
in the red light of the room. Several times the medium exposed this 
plastic product to the light by the motion of her forearm, but never 
for more than a second, so that further observation of detail was not 
possible. This phenomenon also disappeared in the darkness of the 
curtain without any alteration in the control of the medium's hands. 
I now brought my left hand to the place where the fists had been visible, 
while my right hand still clasped Eva's left, and her right was held 
by my wife, and I requested to be touched. As quick as lightning 
a hand and forearm emerged from the curtain at the place indicated 
and touched the palm of my left hand. The touch was cool and moist 
and gave an impression as if I had been touched by the fist of a child, 
or the healed amputation stump of a child's arm. It lasted hardly 
half a second. This appearance seems very remarkable, especially 
as two senses were engaged in the control of the medium and the observa- 
tion of the phenomenon. The opening of the curtain, at a height 
of about 50 inches from the floor, was about 28 inches. 

We must add that it was repeatedly and very emphatically suggested 
to the medium by Mme. Bisson that she should form a hand. After 
the attempt at contact just described, Mme. Bisson, at my request, 
particularised the suggestion in the sense that a hand should become 
visible in the medium's lap between her two hands. 

Meanwhile the lady of the house held the medium's hands, which 
had a soothing effect upon the latter. On one occasion we saw some- 
thing resembling a small piece of a dark grey veil proceeding from 
the arm of the medium, covering the back of Mme. Bisson's hand 
and hanging down from it in the form of a strip 8 inches long. After 
a few seconds this structure disappeared before our eyes. 

The curtain then closed further, so that we could no longer see the 
medium's left arm. Again I endeavoured to surprise her in her work 
of preparation by putting my head into the cabinet. To my greatest 
surprise I now saw, not two, but three forearms lying in her lap. The 
third arm, of a pink colour, had developed from the medium's left 
elbow outwards, was smaller than a child's arm, vague and trans- 
parent, and somewhat resembled a child's hand. 

The suggestion that a hand should form between the medium's 
hands was repeated, although the appearance just described should 
perhaps have been interpreted in that sense. 

What follows happened, however, under conditions less open to 
objection, inasmuch as her hands from beginning to end held the hems 
of the curtains, and were motionless and always visible. A bright, 

£ 



66 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

white patch, appearing red in the red illumination, and of consider- 
able size, was formed in her lap, and appeared to consist of a moving 
and living material resembling an organic substance. From this, material, 
elongations, resembling pseudopods, originated with a flowing motion, 
which soon assumed the form of the fingers of a skeleton hand. Finally 
the form, in its outline, completely resembled a white, transparent 
hand, in which, however, all finer details were lacking. One might 
perhaps produce a similar impression with a hand cut out of white paper. 

I pressed the electric button in order to photograph the three hands, 
but the current only acted at the fourth pressure. By that time the 
form of the hand had already faded, and I only succeeded in photo- 
graphing the white material in her lap (Fig. 7). 

In any case the experiment is remarkable enough. The independent 
mobility of the aggregate, termed teleplasm, the clear endeavour 
to carry out our suggestion, and the production of a white form in the 
rough outline of a left hand, i.e., without any recognisable aid of the 
medium's hands, which are always visible, — in a word, under careful 
control, are the elements constituting the value of this observation. 

The stereoscopic photograph shows the medium with her head bent 
forward, sitting on her chair in the black dress. One sees distinctly 
the white stitches on the bodice of the dress. Both hands are visible 
holding the open curtain. The white mass is lying between her thighs, 
the distant part of it reseinbling a white cloth bunched up, with a 
projection in front showing the shape of a first finger. In front 
of this, i.e., nearly between the knees, there is a hemispherical body 
fiat at the top, the exterior of which seen in the stereoscope appears 
to be striped. On the enlargement of this picture the stripes appear 
to project parallel rays, which are visible over a portion of the black 
dress. The picture here reproduced does not show the same detail 
as the stereoscope. 

V The whole thing is very mysterious and unexplainable. How 
should Eva be able to introduce a spherical solid body, which, according 
to the picture, must be at least 6 inches across, into the sitting, in 
spite of our rigorous examination ? 

The flash of the magnesium light gave a violent shock to Eva's 
nervous system, and, at the same time, brought about the total dis- 
appearance of the materialisation phenomena. 

When Eva was to be awakened, about twenty minutes ensued before 
she regained consciousness. Pulse 100, small, and barely perceptible. 
Violent hysterical tremor in arms and legs, which only ceased after 
soothing suggestion. Traces of blood in mouth and nose. Tendency 
towards contraction of the voluntary muscles. 

The structures and shapes produced by the medium were exposed 
to the light and to our observation, rather shyly and tentatively, and 
with evident reluctance. A fright, or a feeling of repugnance, even 
a fluctuation in the emotional state of the medium, seems to be able 
to destroy the teleplastic structures as if by magic, and to make them 
invisible. This was also the inducement never to interfere, or to disturb 
her, hut our endeavours, on the other hand, were directed towards strength- 
ening the courage and confidence of the medium, so that a gradual training 
and adaptation to our wishes should enable her better to differentiate her 



SITTINGS OF OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER 1910 (PARIS) 67 

products, to make them sharper and more plastic, and to expose them 
longer to the light. On the other hand, a brusque procedure could entirely 
destroy any possibility of observation. That is why we had to resist 
the temptation to seize the white mass and to hold it in our hands. 
The following night Eva slept badly and felt out of sorts on the following 
day. As a rule, she requires two days to overcome the nervous exhaus- 
tion resulting from a sitting. 

Sitting of the 28th October 1910. 

Present. — Mme. Bisson, the author and his wife. 
Time of Sitting.— 9.15 to 11.15. 
Conditions as on 22nd October. 

The curtains remained open from the beginning of the sitting. 
Since one of the flaps overshadowed the head, which was turned to the 
left, and reclined upon the back of the chair, the curtain was with- 
drawn further at the desire of the author. The medium's head was 
then entirely exposed to the illumination. I brought my head to 
within 16 inches of it, in order to be able to observe more closely. 
The features and the colour of the skin, which normally appears bright 
pink, were no longer recognisable. A veil lay on the face, and made 
it unrecognisable, as if the whole head were swathed in it. 

Then there appeared the bright and nearly white outline of a hand 
lying on the shoulder, with the fingers towards the front, just as if 
a person standing behind the chair had placed a hand on the medium's 
shoulder. The shape, which from the formation of the fingers was 
evidently a left hand, appeared flat, and of a white colour. The optical 
impression was not at all that of real life (Fig. 8). 

The medium's arms rested from the beginning of the sittings on 
her knees, so that, with the open curtain, they were always controlled 
and took no part in the occurrences. After several seconds the image 
disappeared, and the same process of development commenced on the 
left shoulder. This time I determined the period of visibility with 
a stop-watch. The structure remained visible to my eye exactly 
forty seconds. The fingers appeared as white strips of slightly vague 
outline and little plasticity, clearly marked off from each other, but 
without any detailed structure. Whether it was a right or a left hand 
could not be clearly distinguished on account of the imperfect develop- 
ment. 

Without any change in the control, the long veil-like strip, apparentlj^ 
proceeding from the organs of respiration, reappeared. Since the 
head was turned towards the left, a part of this was seen on the 
left shoulder, whence it fell to the ground backwards, so that it was 
partly covered by the left arm, and only became visible again at the 
hip. 

There followed some further attempts to form hands, but the struc- 
tures disappeared at once, and appeared to have an insufficient con- 
sistency. My wish that the hand should grasp a small object (an 
ivory paper-knife) remained unfulfilled. During these morjohogenetic 



68 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

endeavours I was able, on one occasion, to verify the existence of a 
second profile beside her head on the right, so that both profiles became 
visible side by side, and parallel to each other. I quickly put my head 
into the cabinet to see more clearly, and thought I observed the features 
of an old woman. The whole appearance lasted only a few seconds. 
An attempt to photograph the veil-like mass described above was a 
failure, because one of the ladies covered the medium's body at the 
moment of the flash. 

Eva had, in the hypnotic trance, given Mme. Bisson on the previous 
day detailed instructions how to treat her after the flash-light photo- 
graphs, which always produced a severe nervous shock. She demanded 
an instant closing of the curtain, the silence of the spectators and 
a period of rest. On carrying out these instructions the present sitting 
was continued with success. 

This time there appeared between the curtains, opened to the 
extent of 15 to 20 inches, and high above the medium's hands, a 
white strip of fabric, which was pulled from one side to the other, as 
if by an invisible hand, with lightning rapidity, or waved with a beating 
or zigzag motion. This was repeated at an approximate height of 
5 feet above the floor, six or eight tim.es, and towards the front 
of the cabinet, while Eva's upper body lay back m the chair, and 
was approximately 3 feet from the apparition, and her hands were 
visible and motionless. I then requested to be hit in the face with 
the strip of material, and put my head into the cabinet. Suddenl)'^ 
I felt a pretty violent blow, as of a wet ball of stufi about the size of 
a walnut. It appeared to be attached to a cord, and hit my left eye so 
that it watered. The eye was even slightly painful after the sitting, 
and the conjunctiva was reddened. 

This observation appeared to me as inexplicable as the others, 
since Eva's head and hands did not participate. That the curtain 
remained open during the first half of the sitting, and that I was able 
to look into the mysterious workshop as often as I wished, are the 
remarkable characteristics of this sitting. My wish to subject the 
materialised fabrics to the test of the sense of touch unfortunately 
remained unfulfilled. Those responsible for the experiments took 
the view that the further development of the medium must not be 
interrupted by such stipulations. 

After the sitting the pulse was 90, and there was some fatigue. 
During the state of trance Eva is quite conscious of her activity. The 
extrusion of the material forming the teleplasm requires a great mus- 
cular and volitional effort, accompanied by groaning and whimpering. 
The same thing was noted in the case of Eusapia Paladino at the time 
of her performances. 

In the semi-somnolent or somnambulic state, there is a close mental 
rapport with all those present, and particularly with Mme. Bisson, for 
whom Eva feels a close friendship. During the sitting she carries 
on a conversation with her protectress, tries to read her innermost soul, 
asks again and again whether her protectress is not tired, and whether 
she can see her creations, whether any ideas are preoccupying her; 
in short, she gauges with a correct instinct the psychological state 
of the sitters, often intervenes in their conversation, and corrects 




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SITTINGS OF OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER 1910 (PARIS) 69 

erroneous interpretations, but shows great delicacy in avoiding saying 
anything which might be disagreeable to those present. 



Sitting of the 2nd November 1910. 

Present. — Mme. Bisson and the author. No result. 

Eva had spent that day mostly in town shopping, and had been 
invited to lunch. She received a number of distracting and diverting 
impressions. Besides, the weather was bad, with wind and rain. 

Sitting of the 3rd November 1910. 

Present. — Mme. Bisson, Public Prosecutor M., and the author. 
Time of Sitting. — 9.15 to 11.30. All other conditions as before. 

The flaps of the open curtain touched the medium's knees. The 
flap on the left-hand side moved gently to and fro, as if moved by 
her left foot, so that the left hand, seen on her knee in the red light, 
was sometimes seen and sometimes disappeared. 

There was evidently great nervousness in exposing the ectoplastic 
product to the light, and to our gaze, for any length of time. During 
all the phenomena of this sitting her hands were visible, either resting 
on her knees or grasping the curtains. The first appearance was 
on Eva's right side, about the level of her head. It was a large, 
reddish, nebulous patch, 3 or 4 inches across, which gradually, 
before our eyes, and in the course of about half a minute, changed into 
a bright shape resembling a hand, larger than the hand of the medium, 
and resembling a rather large male hand. The dorsal surface, the forma- 
tion of the fingers, and the division of the thumb, were clearly marked, 
but all finer detail, such as nails, wrinkles and knuckles were lacking. 
What we saw might be compared to a large white and rather flat seam- 
less glove, which appeared pink in the red light. In a short time 
(twenty seconds at most) the form disappeared, and was replaced by 
teleplastic emanations of indefinite shape, such as patches and strips, 
which were mostly seen near the head and the right shoulder. 

At Eva's request Mme. Bisson entered the cabinet several times, 
and put her hand on the medium's forehead. During one of these 
visits we suggested to the medium that she should materialise a hand 
with forearm. While the lady of the house held Eva's head in the 
cabinet, INI. grasped her left hand and I her right. With this reliable 
control we saw before our eyes, and with open curtains, a bright patch 
lying in her lap, resembling a handkerchief. It appeared to be viscous 
and endowed with life, for it moved and altered its appearance, 
and assumed a shape about 2 by 8 inches. At the front of 
this shape, which was turned towards us, elongations appeared which 
resembled pseudopods. Finally, the outline of a whitish hand was 
formed. We saw before us the outline of a left forearm, about the 
size of a child's arm, but flat and without any detail. After about 



70 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

thirty seconds the form dissolved, returned into an amorphous mass 
of indefinite appearance, and then entirely disappeared. 

In the course of the sitting I suddenly saw something resembling 
a bunched-up grey veil fall from her right shoulder into her lap. My 
wish to take this ball into my hands was not acceded to by the lady 
of the house. Mme. Bisson thought that any sudden intervention 
taking the medium by surprise would injure her health and jeopardise 
the development of the phenomena. I therefore abandoned the idea. 

The material lying in her lap resembled a grey placenta-like pap, 
traversed by fairly thick round strips and cords. It was fairly immobile 
and remained visible at least two minutes. After a short closing 
of the curtains by the medium the material had disappeared, but 
the dress on her breast was lighted up. A white band about 2| 
inches thick, falling from her right shoulder into her lap, was partly 
covered at the shoulder by a fine bright transparent veil, and ended 
in her lap like a hand with three fingers. The whole structure most 
closely resembled a long white lady's glove, having only three fingers 
(thumb, first and third fingers), and perforated on the back by a hole 
nearly an inch long, which appeared as a black spot (Fig. 9). 

The whole structure gave a flat and hollow impression. There 
was evidently an attempt to form a hand and forearm, but the necessary 
power was lacking for constancy, accurate delineation, detailed structure, 
and plastic form. The same shape altered its position, sank down, 
and remained lying in her lap. In anj'^ case this structure showed 
mobility of its own, and was visible without the co-operation of the 
hand in two places (right shoulder and lap). The shape remained 
fairly long, and showed itself for the third time during the flash-light 
exposure in front of Eva's face. The moment I saw the white mass 
with the fingers at about the height of the medium's throat, I ignited 
the flash-light (Fig. 10) with the electric button. I myself removed 
the plates in their slides and kept them until they were developed 
the following day. The plates entirely corroborate the visual impression, 
and prove that we had observed correctly. Magnification, and the 
stereoscopic transparency of these photographs on glass, permitted 
an accurate study of the structure. 

The right side of the face is invisible and covered by a diffused 
apparently black and white mass, looking like a tangled mass of threads. 
From the right shoulder down to the breast a piece of veiling with a 
right-angled corner is hanging. Underneath this one sees two short 
white rounded strips, the outlines of which might correspond to the 
outermost joints of the first and third fingers of a rather large left hand. 
The stereoscopic pictures which we reproduced on glass distinctly 
show the transparent meshwork of a large net. Underneath, a white 
band bent outwards is seen, which would correspond to a thumb M'itb 
its joint bent outwards. The shapes of the first and third fingers can 
be followed up under the net. In the place of the second finger there 
is a gap. The first finger projects and throws a distinct shadow on the 
dress of the medium. Eva's hands clutch the curtain. The strips 
resembling fingers show no detail. They appear flat, and have no 
seams, such as a kid glove would have. Besides, they are abnormally 
long, and larger than the medium's fingers. 



SITTINGS OF OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER 1910 (PARIS) 71 

One can hardly maintain that the photograph shows anything 
corresponding to a living form, but we seem to have before us the 
formation of the outlines of three fingers of a male left hand in a white 
material, the nature of which cannot be determined from the photo- 
graph. 

The photograph is the final link in the chain of observations. It 
confirms the reality of the phenomena, as well as the correctness of 
our previous observations, in which we also saw an imperfect shape 
resembling an arm with three fingers. This remained constant, though 
appearing in three different places, and maintained its peculiar trun- 
cated character. I ought to mention that we had asked for the pro- 
duction of a hand, above or near her head, before we made the photo- 
graphic exposure. She herself seemed to feel that the present stage 
of development was not ripe for the production of detailed forms, 
and asked us, repeatedly, to defer photography. On account of the 
extraordinary fugitiveness of the vitalised aggregates, a sudden and 
complete disappearance of the forms we saw was to be feared. For 
this reason I did not await her consent, but ignited the flash-light as 
soon as I could distinctly see the white shape at her head. Besides, 
these structures, even when imperfectly developed, are valuable for 
the study of such phenomena. 

Immediately after the flash-light Eva, with a loud groan, closed 
the curtains she was clutching, but without altering the position of her 
convulsively closed fingers. Mme. Bisson closed the upper aperture, 
by sliding the rings together, and took hold of the right hand, while 
Monsieur M. took hold of the left. Her hands therefore remained after 
the photographic exposure in the position shown in the picture, not 
having been withdrawn behind the curtains, even for an instant. 

This situation was still unchanged when, having removed the slides 
from the cameras, I took up a position behind the low chair of Mme. 
Bisson, which stood in front of the curtain, so that my head was 
about 2 feet higher than that of the seated lady, and about 18 inches 
in front of the curtain. Suddenly the latter was opened for about 
a second, in front of my eyes, to an extent of 8 inches at the most, 
and was immediately closed again, while nothing had been changed 
concerning the medium's clenched and closed hands (Fig. 11). 

In spite of the shortness of the time I saw in front of me the face 
and upper body of a young and fully developed female swathed in 
grey veils down to the waist. The time of observation was too short 
to tell whether the face under the veil resembled Eva or not. 
In order to show herself to me, she would have had to stand up, and 
clothe herself with the veils. For this she required her hands as much 
as for the opening of the curtain. But her hands were visible outside 
the curtain. Their position corresponded with the sitting posture 
of the medium, and were held by two persons. 

We must further ask : Could she rise from her chair without any 
noise and without the two persons sitting in front of her noticing any- 
thing ? Her standing up would also have involved raising her hands 
to the level of the upright position. Neither of the controllers (who 
could not see the apparition visible above their heads) perceived the 
least change in the attitude of the medium. But the female body 



72 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

perceived corresponded in its height above the floor to the height of 
a female form standing upright. The apparition disappeared, with the 
same Hghtning rapidity and silence as it came. The question as to 
whether it was the medium, or whether it was a separate form, I 
cannot answer. In any case, the transformation of a shape resembling 
a hand, into long grey veils which enveloped a female figure down to 
the waist, without the aid of the medium's hands, is a riddle difficult 
to explain. 

At 11.30 the sitting closed. Final and complete examination of 
the medium and the cabinet with no result. 

Sitting of the 5th November 1910. 

Present. — Professor Charles Richet, Mme. Bisson, and the author. 

All conditions with regard to examination, dress of the medium, 
examination of the cabinet, and illumination, as in the previous sittings. 
Richet occupied the middle place in front of the curtain. I sat on his 
left, and Mme. Bisson on his right. 

This time the phenomena began immediately after the commence- 
ment of the sitting and at the medium's left hand, as at the last sitting. 
We had a visual impression as if a slight black shadow passed, to and 
fro, along the back of the left hand. While the right hand remained 
quiet and visible in the opening of the curtain, the left was withdrawn 
from our gaze, now and then, by the curtain falling over it. Besides, 
the left flap of the curtain was stretched and inflated as if a living 
being were active behind it. The imperfectly visible head was bent 
towards the left and swathed in fine grey veils, which condensed more 
and more, and became visible on the breast and on the shoulder, 
so that, finally, we could make out a rough outline. When the 
condensation process of this grey material had made some progress, 
we saw a white or greyish luminosity, as if produced by white chiffon 
or veiling. These light grey patches of a vague shape showed themselves 
in turn on the right shoulder, on the left under the chin, on the lap, 
and then at the hem of the curtain, corresponding roughly with 
the height of Eva's head, which was about 3 feet behind. These 
patches, balls and bands occurred simultaneously in different places. 
They gave the impression of being independent of the body of the medium, 
showed a tendency towards the production of fingers and forms resem- 
bling hands, and were obviously directed by a psychic form of energy. 
The structures did not, however, suffer the light more than a few seconds. 
They emerged and disappeared, and had a tendency to avoid a lengthy 
exposure to light. Finally, we also saw on the medium's left side, 
on a level with her head, a white shape near the curtain, which resembled 
a female right hand and forearm, and disappeared after a few seconds. 
Some attempts to form heads were also observed, but these were more 
rapid and fugitive than the other teleplastic emanations. Among 
the suddenly appearing forms sometimes visible near the top of the 
curtain, I once thought that I recognised the upturned face of an old 
man with a white beard, while at the same time the entranced medium, 
her head, body and hands, were completely visible. The two heads 
may have been 30 inches apart. 




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SITTINGS OF OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER 1910 (PARIS) 73 

The play of whitish grey aggregations adjoining different parts 
of the medium's body then continued, her hands remaining at rest. 
One of these bands joined her head with her right hand. At the same 
time I saw emerging from the wrist or out of the sewn-up sleeve a 
white, apparently viseous mass which flowed down to the ground 
before my eyes (Fig. 12). 

Suddenly, by an invisible impulse, this whole mass of elementary 
material was drawn across the right knee and then across the left knee 
of the medium, i.e., right across the opening of the curtains into the 
region behind the left flap of the curtain, while the head and hands 
of the medium remained visible and immobile. Some attempts to 
form human shapes out of the teleplasm became evident on the right- 
hand side, behind the curtain, at the same level as before, and, apparently, 
due to an unknown volition. While Richet concentrated his whole 
attention on that process I looked into her lap to make sure that her 
hands were still there. But what was my astonishment when, instead 
of two arms, I perceived three ! The third arm started from the right 
elbow. It resembled a long narrow strip of the size of a child's arm, 
and exhibited next the medium's right hand a small hand with five 
distinct fingers. Richet confirmed this observation when I drew 
his attention to it. We therefore saw at the same time four hands 
(Fig. 13), three in the medium's lap, and a fourth in the process of develop- 
ment, near the flap of the curtain on the medium's left, while the third 
hand, lying on the medium's lap, remained visible for about thirty seconds. 
Richet's right hand, which he held forward about a foot above the 
medium's visible hand, was touched by the hand coming out of the 
curtain. I ought to mention that we had wished to see hands, and had 
requested the medium accordingly. 

After these phenomena had disappeared, we asked for the formation 
of a head. After a short rest-pause we saw a repetition of the pheno- 
menon recorded in the last sitting, in which a packet of some kind of 
material was observed to fall. This time it fell into the lap of the 
medium, who sat in front of us with her hands visible. It fell as if 
projected from the roof of the cabinet by an unknown psychic force. 
This mass also disappeared from our gaze. Then began the develop- 
ment of forms resembling heads, which showed themselves with lightning 
speed behind the left flap of the curtain high above the medium and 
disappeared as quickly, so that there was hardly time to see the medium 
and the head simultaneously. In this case, Eva held the curtain flaps 
with hands always visible, and opened and closed them very rapidly. 
Since the effect was produced seven or eight times, I directed my 
attention exclusively to the medium, in some cases, while Richet 
observed the apparition of the heads. Occasionally, I could verify 
accurately that Eva lay in her chair, without any change in the position 
of her head and of her hands. In one case the phenomenon lasted two 
seconds, so that it was possible to see both heads simultaneously. The 
materialised head showed the features of a young woman whose hair 
was completely covered by a turban. In this I could distinctly see 
the slanting folds of the material. Unfortunately, the attempt at 
photography was a failure. 

Towards midnight the sitting closed. Final examination negative. 



74 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

Since the medium had a special veneration for Richet, she may have 
been satisfied with the good result of this sitting. In any case, she 
slept well the following night, and showed no after-effects to speak of. 

Sitting of the 8th November 1910. 

Present. — Mme. Bisson, M. Chevreuil, and the author. 
No result. 

The weather was rainy, Eva had, during the day, been shopping 
with her sisters, and had passed the whole day in town. 

Contact with other people, and distractions, appeared to hinder 
the productions when immediately preceding a sitting. The medium 
herself attributed the lack of success to unfavourable atmospheric 
influences. 

Sitting of the 11th November 1910. 

Present. — Mme. Bisson and the author. 

This day, as well as in all subsequent sittings, four twenty candle- 
power electric lamps were used. 

Conditions as usual. The cabinet was again carefully examined 
with an electric torch. Eva's hair was held by a velvet ribbon (no 
combs). 

Duration of sitting, 9.15 to 11.45. 

Hypnotisation by Mme. Bisson. 

Some twenty minutes elapsed before the phenomena set in. The 
curtain was half closed, and its left flap covered up Eva's left hand, 
which lay on her knee. Mme. Bisson, who sat opposite the left curtain, 
eventually pushed it back in order to see Eva's left hand. This unex- 
pected interference provoked a violent reaction. The medium shud- 
dered convulsively and complained strongly. For us, the whole occur- 
rence had this interest — that on her left knee and underneath her left 
hand we saw a white mass, larger than a hand, resembling a white 
unformed aggregate endowed with life. This, under cover of the curtain, 
assumed the shape of a child's forearm, which seemed to attach itself 
from the outside to the medium's left elbow, and terminated in the 
outlines of a hand (Fig. 14). 

We then suggested that Eva should produce a well-developed 
forearm with hand. The medium, whose hands were constantly 
controlled, evidently made strong efforts to carry out the suggestion. 
She made deep and audible respirations, and groaned and whimpered. 
At last we saw, on the inner side of her left arm, and starting from the 
elbow, the outlines of a left forearm, gradually becoming more dis- 
tinct. A hand and fingers were formed in a rudimentary and imperfect 
way at first. But, before our eyes, this semi-liquid substance, endowed 
with some kind of animal life, changed its appearance, until it assumed 
the form of a correctly-draA\T[i left hand, somewhat smaller than the 



SITTINGS OF OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER 1910 (PARIS) 75 

medium's arm, and showing all the imperfections already mentioned 
as regards modelling, muscular development, detailed structure, and 
nails. 

By closing the curtain, this structure was withdrawn from our 
gaze after barely fifteen seconds, and when the curtain was opened 
again, the apparition had crossed to the right side of the medium 
(Fig. 15). 

This time the vitalised structure was detached from her body, and 
had the form of a double colunm of mist or smoke tapering towards the 
top. It ascended on her right side from the floor, and the two branches 
joined about the level of her shoulder, where they formed the dorsal 
aspect of a female right hand. The column may have been from 
8 to 12 inches thick, and stood about 16 inches behind the right curtain 
on the floor beside the medium, whose whole body remained visible 
during the process. The hand then moved, beckoned to us, and appeared 
more distinctly formed, showing graceful lines like a living female 
hand. Although the teleplastic structure stood back in the cabinet, 
it was distinctly seen by all present, and for a sufficiently long time. 
I myself introduced my head for this purpose through the open curtain 
into the cabinet. The structure remained visible about twenty seconds. 

When, after a rest-pause, the phenomena were continued, the same 
female hand lay on the right shoulder of the medium, with its dorsal 
surface and fingers towards the front. 

Thereupon Mme. Bisson entered the cabinet in order to lay her hand 
on the medium's forehead. At the moment of her entry into the 
cabinet all the phenomena disappeared. 

On continuing the sitting, I asked the medium whether some of the 
plastic material used for the materialisation process could be placed 
in a German-silver box I had brought for the purpose. The box had 
a well-closing lid, and contained a porcelain dish. It had not left my 
pocket. While the medium's hands clutched the curtains and remained 
distinctly visible, I brought the open box, held in my right hand, close 
to the curtain, at the level of about a foot above her right hand, while, 
at the same time, Mme. Bisson held my right wrist. At that moment 
the other two persons saw three well -developed fingers coming out of 
the curtain and touching the box. I myself could only see one finger, 
since I sat too far towards the left. This finger entered the open box 
on its narrow side and executed several shaking motions. I seized 
this moment to close the lid and hide the box in my pocket. On 
examining the dish afterwards in a white electric light I found on the 
inner narrow side of the porcelain dish, as if stuck to it, two pieces 
which, under the microscope, were recognised to be human skin ^ 
(Figs. 16 and 17). 

Eva's hands, which held the curtains, remained during this experi- 
ment visibly under our control. During the final examination no 
defect of skin could be found either on the girl's hands or on her feet. 

It appeared, from a microscopic examination, that the tissue 
was a piece of superficial epidermis, 16 mm. long, 11 mm. 
wide, and I mm. thick. Even a simple magnification shows the 

^ Whether we have here to deal with tissue produced during the sitting, or intro- 
duced, iu spite of the rigid control, or with an " apport," one cannot say with any certainty. 



76 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

characteristic marbling of the skin, and a horny thickening of one half 
of it. 

The second piece of skin, 12 mm. in diameter, is considerably 
thinner and finer. Under the microscope one distinctly sees the pig- 
mented epithelium cells. The products do not in any point differ from 
the histological structure of human skin, but it is difficult to say from 
what part of the body they are derived. 

After this experiment we asked for a hand above the medium's 
head for the purpose of photography. I went and stood beside the 
apparatus on my right, whence I could see through the open curtain 
everything happening on the left. Very soon a fairly large shape 
appeared above Eva's head, a shape which at a distance resembled 
a white male hand. The flash-light was ignited, and both photographs 
succeeded well (Fig. 18). Unfortunately, the plates only show half of 
what was perceived, because the left curtain half concealed the medium's 
face. 

Owing to the various positions of the cameras, three fingers are 
seen on one negative, but on the stereoscopic negatives only two, and 
these are the backs of a thumb and forefinger of a left hand. On the 
picture with tliree fingers, half the hand is seen up to the wrist, the 
third joint of the first finger being bent, and lying in the inner corner 
of the medium's right eye. Hence the finger appears foreshortened. 
Whether the slanting shadow falling upon the upper part of the arm is 
due to that finger cannot be decided. Of the middle finger, only the 
first joint is seen, the second and third being bent in, or entirely lacking. 
On the stereoscopic plate the curtain covers this finger. The curvature 
produced by the metacarpal muscle of the thumb in a state of contrac- 
tion is well developed at the root of the thumb, and the first and second 
joints of the thumb are distinctly outlined. No nail depression i^. seen 
on the thumb, although the tip has the natural shape. 

Here, again, we cannot say what material the hand is made of. 
There is no question of a glove, because the outlines corresponding to 
the muscular modelling are too detailed. Besides, seams would be 
visible in some place or other. Nor does the material appear to consist 
of paper, for the sheen of white paper is easily recognisable on a photo- 
graph, and the fibres are seen in magnification. The freely-exposed 
thumb does, indeed, produce a flat impression, especially in the stereo- 
scopic picture. But the photograph shows other and very remarkable 
things. We see a white and closely-twisted tissue, resembling veiling 
or lace, the end of which passed round the middle finger of her right 
hand.^ This twisted strip is visible on Eva's lap, and is directed 
towards her left shoulder, which, unfortunately, is not visible. This 
tissue covers the wrist of the visible hand, and becomes visible again 
on her hair on the right side, falling upon her right shoulder. In the 
place where the thumb and forefinger join, a pointed white patch is 
seen on the hair, which is apparently due to the material lying on 
the head. We can recognise in the transparent unfolded tissue a folded 
margin and a net -like system of meshes. 

^ A comparison with numerous later photographs of the filmy teleplastic veiling 
shows a constant repetition of the same image, consisting of fibres, threads, bundles, and 
stripes, joined in meshes or nets, and sometimes in a parallel arrangement. 




Fig. i6. Portion of the porcelain dish, with piece of skin. 




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SITTINGS OF OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER 1910 (PARIS) 77 

On the magnification (Fig. 19) of the single picture, we can see, with 
the aid of magnifying glasses, that the second and third joints of Eva's 
left forefinger and middlefinger, as well as the second Joint of the 
thumb, are enveloped in an extremely fine veil-like tissue, which also 
covers a portion of the finger-nails. This observation is confirmed by 
a detailed examination of the stereoscopic photograph. 

If we assume fraud, what would have been the object of covering 
the left hand, which happened to be half covered by the curtain, and 
took no part in the principal phenomena, with veils of the finest material — 
a material which could only be discovered by the artificial means of 
magnification ? 

The sitting was continued after the photographs had been taken. 
The endeavours to show shapes of heads, in accordance with our wish, 
led to no distinct success. But, on one occasion, we saw in the curtain, 
rapidly opened and then again closed, a female figure draped from head 
to foot in veils, obviously the medium using the veils already formed 
and described above. The aperture of the curtain on that occasion 
was not more than 4 inches, and the appearance lasted only one second. 
The sitting ended at midnight. Final examination negative. 

Sitting of the 15th November 1910. 

Present. — Professor Charles Richet, M. Chevreuil, Mme. Bisson, 

and the author. 

During the day Eva had an emotional disturbance, and did not 
appear particularly disposed for a sitting. All conditions as before. 
During the examination the medium, dressed in the tights, allowed me 
to examine her bare upper body. It was also clear from an examination 
through the thin tights that no material was concealed about her lower 
body. The medium removed the three combs from her hair, so that 
the hair was only fastened by a velvet ribbon. 

The development of the phenomena began again at her left hand, 
as in previous sittings, and took the form of bright shimmering strips, 
appearing at the shoulder and at the rim of the curtain. We repeated 
our previous request that Eva might allow the substratum of the 
materialisations to touch our hands. For this purpose M. Richet, 
Mme. Bisson, and the author, in turn approached their hands to that 
portion of the curtain where we had seen the white strip. All our 
hands were touched several times, the author having the impression 
as if several points of his right hand had been touched by a solid object 
with a slippery surface. It reminded him of moist, soft glove-leather. 
The material producing the touches did not remain motionless, and in 
spite of many attempts it could not be grasped. I also felt light blows 
on the palm of my hand, as if with whipcord, and I saw something 
resembling a ribbon crossing my hand. During this process Eva's 
hands were constantly controlled, and we could often see the outlines 
of her face. The blows were therefore undoubtedly not due to her 
hands, nor produced by her mouth. 

After one such blow I closed my hand quickly and grasped some- 
thing resembling a fine rubber cord, which, however, felt moist, and 



78 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

escaped from my fingers with a strong jerk and a serpentine motion, 
while the frightened medium gave a cry of pain. 

We then asked to see a female head. For this purpose, as generally 
in this class of phenomena, the curtain was completely closed. It 
only opened at the moment of the phenomena, but we could always see 
both hands, and sometimes Eva's head during the exposure. The face 
we wished for showed itself six or seven times, always to the medium's 
left, and at a level corresponding to the head of a person standing upright. 
During the second appearance of the phenomenon, I could quite clearly 
make out Eva's head and Jiands. 

During the third experiment I concentrated my whole attention 
upon the medium, and again verified that she lay in her chair without 
participating. The head images were visible hardly a second. The 
well-developed face corresponded to that of a good-looking young 
woman, and the forehead was covered by a broad band. As the head 
fell down I followed it with my eyes, and I saw it hasten towards the 
head of the medium, where it disappeared, as if reabsorbed by her body. 
On one occasion we had the impression that the medium had risen and 
sat down again. This observation led us to increase our watchfulness. 
In other cases the materialised head, and the medium, could be seen 
at the same time. Immediately after one exposure Eva opened the 
curtain, came towards me, and requested me to examine her. I found 
nothing suspicious. She then re-entered the cabinet in a somnambulic 
state, while Richet followed her into the cabinet, and placed his hand 
on her forehead. 

On continuing the sitting another flash-light photograph (Fig. 20) was 
taken. It shows the medium holding both curtains, while Mme. Bisson's 
hand attempts to put back the left curtain flap. A twisted band, 
about 16 feet long and resembling lace, and having traces of a pattern, 
hangs from the medium's upper coiffure nearly do\\Ti to her feet. A 
portion of it is undoubtedly attached above her forehead to her hair, 
while the rest of it disappears over her head towards the back. The 
meshed tissue of the material is very similar to that which at the last 
sitting lay on her head. On the magnification of the picture (Fig. 21), 
we distinctly see the last joint of a thumb and forefinger emerging 
from Eva's hair, which appear to hold the material. 

After this experiment the sitting closed, and a very thorough 
examination of the medium and cabinet gave no result. 

Sitting of the 18th November 1910. 

Present. — Professor C. Richet, Mme. Bisson, M. Chevreuil, 
and the author. 

Conditions as usual. 

Eva was this day under the influence of menstruation, which had 
just set in. She felt fatigued, and complained of subjective difficulties. 
The sitting began at 9 o'clock. We waited an hour without any result. 

For the comprehension of one of the phenomena about to be 
described, it should be mentioned that in discussing with Mme. Bisson 




Fig. 19. Magnification of portion of Iig. iS. 




Fig. 20. Flashlight photograph by the 
author during sitting of i5 november, iqio. 



SITTINGS OF OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER 1910 (PARIS) 79 

the imperfect development of the photographic fingers, I had drawn 
attention to the absence of finger-nails. 

After 10 o'clock the development of the teleplastic substance 
commenced. We saw in the opening of the curtain, while the medium's 
hands were visible and immobile, a broad luminous band, about 
12 inches wide, in front of her chest, and then under her left arm, and 
also a white mass of material at the skirt of her dress, between her feet. 

The simultaneous occurrence of teleplastic productions at the feet 
and under the arm is very remarkable, especially as its production 
occurred 2 feet from us, while the medium was quite visible and reclining 
tranquilly. Again we saw on her chest and in her lap some white 
ribbons and patches. The substance on her chest already gave an 
impression of solidity, and resembled a forearm, or a tibia, with hand 
and fingers, in skeleton form. 

Exactly at the same place as before, i.e., to the left of the left hand 
which lay on her knee, and about 12 or 15 inches above it, we saw a 
white shape emerging from the curtain, which disappeared again very 
rapidly. 

During the next experiment (Fig. 22) Mme. Bisson held Eva's left, 
while I held her right in my left hand. All the hands were distinctly 
visible. At the same place as before a form became visible, which 
resembled a child's arm ending in a stump. It resembled an amputa- 
tion stump. But this stump ended in three fingers (second and third 
joints only), whose total length was only about 1 or 1| inch. This 
remarkable fragment was seen by all of us quite clearly. It was plastic, 
and otherwise resembled a living member. The shape approached my 
left hand, as it held Eva's right, and pressed two of the rudimentary 
finger stumps into the back of my left hand. The pressure lasted about 
two seconds, and was very firm, as if exerted by a cool, strong, moist 
male hand. The points of the nails were pressed firmly into my skin. 
This was probably in answer to the remarks I had made concerning 
the imperfection of the fingers photographed, and the intention may have 
been to prove to me, on my own body, that this intelligent creative power 
w^as also capable of producing finger-nails. 

In order that there should not be the slightest doubt, the experiment 
was repeated three times. All those present saw the remarkable limb 
fragment during this phenomenon of contact. This performance was 
always accompanied by the groaning of the medium and an energetic 
display of will-power, just as v/as observed in the case of Eusapia 
Paladino. The manner in which the experiment was conducted, 
the control of the phenomenon through two senses, the simultaneous 
verification of the same appearance by all present, the absolute exclusion 
of any mechanical help by the medium, the threefold reproduction of 
the same experiment, and the rest of the conditions already stated, 
render this result free from any objection. 

During the next experiment Richet held Eva's left hand while 
I held her right with my left. We wished to repeat the last experiment. 
I took the small metal box previously mentioned out of my pocket, 
opened it, and held it near the curtain, in the place where the shapes 
usually showed themselves, with the request that a portion of the 
teleplastic substance should be placed inside. Suddenly the box in 



80 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

my hand was seized by the stumpy fingers, one of them on the outside 
and the other inside, and was then forcibly pushed down, so that my 
hand, in spite of its resistance, was pressed down against my will. I 
saw the limb fragment, and heard how the porcelain dish rattled against 
the metallic case as the box was pushed down. This experiment also 
was twice repeated, rather slowly, taking three or four seconds. The 
medium's head was seen as a bright patch, and we held her hands. 
Again there was a great expenditure of energy and muscular contraction 
by the medium. This phenomenon was, therefore, perceived at the 
same time through the senses of sight, hearing, and touch. 

The sitting then closed, and the subsequent examination was negative. 



Sittings of December 1910 and January 1911. 

After the author's departure, in December 1910, the sittings were 
contmued as usual twice a week. But no progress was recorded in the 
development of the phenomena, and at the beginning of December 1910 
there was an unexpected interruption, as Mme. Bisson informed me by 
letter. 

After the appearance of a number of teleplastic forms, at one of the 
sittings Eva requested Mme. Bisson to join hands with her through 
the gap in the curtain. This was done. Suddenly a strong, fully- 
developed, male forearm with hand became visible, seized the girl 
brutally against the breast and flung her violently back into the chair. 
The medium gave a cry of terror, and was so excited that the sitting 
had to be abandoned. It was several weeks before she recovered from 
the nervous shock, and it was Christmas before she was able to continue 
the experiments. This unwelcome interruption was probably the 
cause of the diminution of her mediumistic efficiency, which is clearly 
evident in the following series of sittings. The author considered it 
his dut3% for the sake of an objective record, to mention this event, 
though it contradicts the experiences hitherto recorded ; but he refrains 
from drawing any conclusions. 



Sitting of the 28th December 1910. 

Conditions, illumination, and control as in the last sittings of 
November 1910. 

Present. — M. M., Mme. Bisson, Professor B. (a German 
scientist), and the author. 

Before the sitting three photographic cameras were set up by 
Professor B. and the author, a stereoscopic camera, and a camera taking 
pictures 9| by 7 inches, about 10 feet in front of the curtain, and a 
camera 5| by 3| inches in the corner of the cabinet to the right of the 
medium. " All three cameras had Zeiss lenses. The object of this 




Fig. 21. Magnification from Fig. 20. 




fe s 



Z K 






o < 




0^ « 



M CI 

H S 

< > 

o 

Ir' CO 



SITTINGS OF DECEMBER 1910 AND JANUARY 1911 81 

arrangement was to obtain side views of the various shapes, even if 
they were half covered by the curtain, as in some previous sittings. 
Unfortunately, the camera in the cabinet was, on account of the smallness 
of its field of view, not suitable for obtaining a picture of the occurrences 
at a distance of half a yard. Besides, everything not in the centre of the 
field would necessarily be out of focus. But the use of a photographic 
camera inside the cabinet means a considerable progress in the method of 
investigation, though the elaboration of this method requires the construc- 
tion of special wide-angle lenses for photographing objects at close range. 

Professor B., who only once before had attended a sitting (in a 
larger circle) conducted a specially careful and detailed investigation of 
the cabinet, of the chair on which Eva sat, and of the medium's dress. 
The bodily examination took place as usual before every sitting, while 
Mme. Bisson sewed the two garments together, but nothing suspicious was 
found. Professor B. took the place in front of the cabinet. The author 
sat at his left, Mme. Bisson at his right, and M. M. in the second row. 

During the first half of the sitting Eva's hands remained visible on 
her^ knees and the curtains remained open. Immediately after the 
beginning of the sitting Mme. Bisson and the author perceived, on 
both the medium's shoulders, a barely visible luminosity which dis- 
appeared in the direction of her hips. 

After about an hour, during which time the position of the hands 
was not changed, a pink luminous band, about 8 inches long, appeared 
to join the medium's two thumbs. It had rough, torn, and irregular 
edges, and changed its shape like india-rubber, some parts being bulkier 
than others. When the hands moved, this band contracted, and it 
became narrow on moving the hands apart. In some places the band 
was transparent, like a delicate veil. Its appearance might best be 
compared to an irregular, torn, and partly-twisted elastic and filmy 
band of tissue. It was observable for about a minute, and disappeared 
before our eyes, without our seeing any noticeable movement of the 
medium's hands. Shortly afterwards a thread-like band became 
visible, which ran down the middle of the dress from the knees to the 
feet, and corresponded, in length, to that of the medium's shins. This 
also disappeared very rapidly. 

I then expressed the wish to see a freely suspended hand a little 
higher than her head, between the curtains. This point, as found by 
subsequent measurements, is about 3 feet away from the medium's 
head when she reclines as usual against the back of the chair, while the 
chair itself is always so placed that the curtains can be closed immediately 
in front of the medium's knees. When the hands rest on the knees 
this distance is exactly 27 inches. The cameras were focused on this 
point in this and in the following sittings. If the medium moves her 
head forward or takes hold of the curtain with her hands, it may alter 
this distance from 4 to 8 inches. But even then the distance from the 
body of the medium would be at least 1| feet. 

A considerable time after the phenomena described had taken place, 
and after the curtain had been closed several times, thus hiding the 
hands, the distinct form of a hand appeared four times in succession, 
in the place indicated. Once it was a female left hand, with fingers 
longer than those of the medium. 



82 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

The hands hardly remained visible for a second, so that it was not 
possible to concentrate the attention and the gaze upon Eva's body 
at the same time. 

I succeeded, indeed, twice, and Professor B. once, in perceiving the 
medium's hands resting in her lap, while the third hand was visible. 
The author could distinctly see movements of the separate fingers of 
the hand shown (bending and stretching). Eva was unable to continue 
the sitting, and it had to be closed. 

Sitting of the 29th December 1910. 
Present. — M. ,M., Professor B., Mme. Bisson, and the author. 

When the medium put on the knitted hose garment, before the 
sitting, Mme Bisson, in my presence, introduced her finger into the 
medium's vagina. She was also explored by Professor B. and the 
author through the garment, but with negative result. 

Assuming that a female medium wished to use the vagina as a hiding- 
place for closely rolled packets, e.g., chiffon gauze, she would have to 
attach some kind of cord or ribbon to the packet beforehand, in order 
to be able to withdraw it. This cord would be detected during the 
exploration at the mouth of the vagina, and any finger introduced 
mto the vagina would feel the foreign body. In the case of persons 
with a very wide vaginal entrance, it might be possible to withdraw 
the packet by means of the fingers, deeply inserted. But such a 
manipulation supposes that the genitals are not separated from the 
hand by any partition, even a knitted one, and that the person is in a 
standing or reclining position. She might have touched the external 
genitals through the garment, but could not have penetrated to any depth. 

The hiding of objects in the anal aperture, and their withdrawal 
from it, is even less possible, on account of its closure by a firm ring 
muscle, which hinders the introduction of a finger. Hidden packets can 
only be withdrawn by means of a cord of suitable strength, the external 
end of which would have been immediately discovered during the 
corporeal examination ; but never with the sole help of the person's 
own finger. 

The restoration of the material to its hiding-place would be even 
more difficult. It presupposes a careful folding-up and packing in the 
darkness of the cabinet. An introduction of the packet into the anal 
opening would be almost unthinkable without the use of vaseline. 
But all such manipulations are doubly difficult in the dark. 

The bodily, and especially the gynaecological, examination, the 
sewing-up of the tights to the dress, of the dress at the neck and wrists, 
dispose of these objections, since the medium cannot touch her own 
skm except at the head. Besides, the manner of appearance and 
disappearance, and the automatism of the materials and forms pro- 
duced, tell against the possibility of fraud. 

As soon as Professor B. had convinced himself that Eva had no 
material or apparatus concealed about her person, the sitting com- 
menced in the usual way. The examination of the cabinet, illumination, 
hypnotisation, as usual. 

After about half an hour's waiting a bright patch appeared under 



SITTINGS OF DECEMBER 1910 AND JANUARY 1911 83 

the medium's left hand. Eva opened and closed the curtain several 
times, thus alternately exposing the patch to illumination and shading 
it. Eventually it grew towards the upper arm and the right hand, so 
that it had a rectangular appearance. Length, 12 to 14 inches ; width, 
about 4 inches. She then took both my hands and brought the first 
finger of my left hand towards the material lying in her lap. I was 
surprised when my finger touched a firm, hard, rounded object, with a 
rough surface. The sensation was like touching a rough bone. The 
object I touched appeared of a pink colour, and lay on the medium's 
left thigh. 

We then asked to see a hand. After a pause of ten minutes, during 
which the curtain remained closed, she opened the curtain again. A 
broad white band fell like a veil from the left upper side into the lap, 
like a flowing mass. The portion on her lap seemed mobile and changed 
its shape. We could distinctly see stripes, and the slowly developing 
design of a limb. Eva's hands clutched the curtains, and at that 
moment I ignited the flash-light (Fig. 23). 

The curtain had immediately to be closed, since Eva whimpered 
and groaned in great fright. 

Finally we saw, during a quick opening and shutting of the curtain, 
a veiled female face, probably the face of the medium. Eva's hands 
then became hot, always a sign that she could not produce anything 
more. A renewed and minute examination of the medium, as well as 
the chair and cabinet, after the sitting, had no result. As soon as she 
had changed her dress Professor B. examined the seance dress, to see 
if any moisture adhered to it, but nothing suspicious was found. The 
sitting closed at 11.30. 

Unfortunately, the photographic record is not clear. The camera 
(7 by 9 1 inches) obviously stood too near the curtain, so that the 
medium's left hand, holding the curtain, cannot be distinctly recog- 
nised. We see the white material falling from a point on a level with 
Eva's head, out of the curtain over her left shoulder into her lap, but 
without any detail. The shape of the mass resembles, in its rough 
outlines, a lower leg with ankle and foot in the course of formation. 

On the basis of this photograph we can only assert that it confirms 
and amplifies our optical impression, and therefore offers a strong argu- 
ment for the actuality of this mediumistic process, under the precautions 
described. It should be noticed that the material emerges from the 
left curtain at a point higher than Eva's head, although her left hand 
was visible to us holding the curtain. 

Sitting of the 3rd January 1911. 

No result. Eva had been on the 1st and 2nd January staying with 
friends, and was still probably under the diverting influence of their 
hospitality. 

Sitting of the 4th January 1911. 

Present. — Mme. Bisson, her sister, and the author. 

Conditions as before. Complete, including gynaecological, examina- 
tion. Commencement, 10.30. The first phenomena appeared at 11.30. 



84 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

Eva meanwhile breathed deeply and audibly, showing light tremors, 
and had cold and moist hands. She gave an impression of suffering. 

Several times Mme. Bisson, who sat on a low wicker chair in front 
of the curtain, had to hold her hands. Under these conditions we saw 
at a level of 17 inches above Eva's visible hands, which were held by 
those present, some well-developed structures, resembling limbs emerging 
from the curtain on the left, at a distance of 20 to 23 inches from her 
head. These objects appeared eight times in succession. The medium 
requested me to bring my head near the aperture of the curtain. In 
order to entice the apparition further outside, I brought my forehead 
closer, but not sufficiently so. Twice this hand-shaped structure 
•attempted by very rapid motion to reach my forehead, but without 
success. When I further reduced the distance, I twice felt a strong 
and distinct touch on my forehead, while the medium appeared to 
make a great muscular effort. The touch resembled that of a broad, 
strongly-developed finger of a large male hand (or a big toe ?). I 
distinctly felt the pressure as from a soft finger-tip, together with the 
feeling of cool and moist human skin. Just as a gymnast contracts 
the muscles of his body with an extreme effort of will in order to bring 
about a single extraordinary muscular feat, so Eva, with many gasps 
and groans, endeavoured to bring about a contact by means of this 
structure, which was obviously amenable to psychic direction. The 
course of this phenomenon was characteristic, and was observed by 
me in the same manner in the case of Eusapia Paladino, although the 
two mediums had never seen each other in their lives. 

The duration of contact might have been one or two seconds, but 
the structures stretched forward remained visible hardly one second, 
so that one can only state the fact without saying anything about the 
detailed building-up of the limbs. And, generally, the appearances are 
the more fugitive the less close the connection with the body of the 
medium, while the phenomena taking place at the body itself show a 
greater durability under light and observation. 

Again, we saw at the same part of the left curtain a white form 
about 8 inches long and 4 inches wide. The medium called out 
" prenez-le." I pressed the electric button. The light flared up, and 
convinced that I had this time obtained a specially interesting photo- 
graph, I took charge of the closed slides. 

It should be mentioned that during the last phenomena Eva's hands 
held both sides of the curtain, and were, therefore, distinctly visible. 
This time, also, the sudden interruption of the phenomena by the light 
meant the end of the sitting. But before I had asked for Eva's awaken- 
ing she requested Mme. Bisson to unpick the seam between tights and 
dress. When this was done, she asked me to examine her. In the 
course of the gynaecological examination I introduced the middle finger 
of my right hand pretty deep into the vagina, without, however, finding 
anything beyond a softening of the epithelium. It is, therefore, certain 
that the genital passage was not used as a hiding-place. Eva was 
awakened, and passed a restless, sleepless night. The sitting closed at 
midnight 

To our great surprise the development of the plate gave a negative 
result. The photographs as such are successful, especially the stereo- 



SITTINGS OF DECEMBER 1910 AND JANUARY 1911 85 

scopic ones. Eva lies on the chair with her body stretched out, and her 
head rests on the back of the chair, which is quite visible. The mouth 
and eyes are tightly compressed, and the face screwed up as if blinded 
by the light. Her arms are stretched out, and both hands clutch the 
sides of the curtain, so that they are visible with the fingers outward. 

The camera mounted inside the cabinet (Fig. 24) showed a portion 
of the left curtain from the inside. Embedded in its folds one sees a 
white, round sphere with a shadowy patch above it. Above the 
shadow is a faintly illuminated broad cross-streak of a cloudy character. 
The first impression made by the photograph upon photographic experts 
is that the white sphere is a flare spot produced by the diaphragm of 
the camera in consequence of a reflection. In this sense the second 
cloudy circle, which becomes visible upon magnification, and partly 
covers the first circle, is also interpreted. On the other hand, no 
reflecting objects were contained in the cabinet, and the white patch 
gives the impression of a real solid ball rather than of a circle. The 
view is confirmed by the manner in which the feebler cloudy structure 
forms a slanting cover towards the back. But assuming the circle 
were the result of reflection, how shall we explain the misty luminosity 
extending downwards and getting brighter below on which the sphere 
is lying ? Also, the broad, cloudy cross-band above the sphere. These 
two things are not due to errors or accidents during exposure, but 
correspond to structures really present. 

We must also remember that white luminous balls have been seen 
by numerous observers of materialisation phenomena, and have been 
described by them as preliminary stages. 

Finally, it is also remarkable that the sphere and the luminous 
streaks were photographed at the very spot on the hem of the curtain 
where I saw the white substance emerge beyond the curtain at the 
moment of photography. We must, therefore, reckon with the pos- 
sibility that the white-formed substance observed by us changed into 
the shape of a sphere. But the retrogressive process, and the displace- 
ment towards the origin, occurred more quickly than the ignition of 
the flash-light by the button. Now it is quite possible that the camera 
in the cabinet may have photographed a fragment of the mass, in 
retrogressive development, as it retired behind the curtain. 

Taken by themselves, the feeble photographic results of this sitting 
prove little or nothing. In connection with previous results they tell 
against any suspicion of a possible fraudulent arrangement of the 
occurrences. But for the investigator who sees here the working of 
unknown forces, any detail, however small, may become significant. 
The discussion of these side issues, therefore, appeared desirable. 

Sitting of the 6th January 1911. 

Present. — Mme. Bisson, M. M., and the author. 

Conditions as before. An external examination of genitals through 
the tights gave a negative result. 

After nearly an hour's waiting, a bright luminosity appeared under 
the medium's left arm. While the medium, as usual, clutched the sides 



86 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

of the curtain, her hands being visible during the whole phenomena of 
this sitting, a small arm with hand appeared on the left, but hardly 
remained visible a second. In the short time no details could be 
observed. 

After this we saw an equally fugitive, but recognisable, male hand 
(Fig. 25) in side view, with its thumb in front, and its finger stretched 
upwards. As already stated, the distance between the hand and the 
medium's head was from 20 to 27 inches, and the distance from her 
hands 16 to 24 inches. 

While Eva held both curtains and moved them to and fro, a narrow 
bright band developed between her hands, and increased to a width of 
3 inches and a length of 12 to 14 inches. The material appeared to be 
elastic, viscous, and endowed with a mobility of its own. Before our 
eyes it transformed itself into the shape of a human forearm, which 
was rather long and provided with a hand. The latter lay across the 
right hand of the medium, while the elbow portion lay on the base of 
the thumb of the medium's left hand and vanished behind the curtain. 
The strip then became thinner again. Eva closed the curtain for a 
moment, and when she opened it again the same play of a more or less 
liquid, variable form recommenced. This time it corresponded to a 
human lower leg, the sole of the foot touching the medium's right, and 
the toes being directed upwards. The knee portion disappeared above 
her left hand behind the curtain. 

This whole metamorphosis resisted the influence of the light and of 
our gaze unusually long, perhaps sixty seconds, but never showed a 
permanent firm shape. The constantly changing momentary creations 
only resembled human limbs in their outline. 

Before awakening, Eva again asked for the tights to be detached 
from the dress and submitted to a gynaecological examination. The 
introduction of my right middle finger into the vagina gave a negative 
result, as did the remaining examination of medium, dress, cabinet, 
and chair. 



Sittings of March and April 1911 (Paris). 

Sitting of the 13th March 1911. 

Present. — Mme. Bisson, her sister, Professor Richet, 
M. de Fontenay and the author. 

Time of Sitting.— 10 to 11.30. 

Illumination and control as in previous sittings. Arrangement. — 
Mme. Bisson in the centre, in front of the curtain ; the author on 
her left ; Richet on her right ; De Fontenay in the second row. 

The cameras were set up by me before the sitting at a distance of 
10 feet, one camera for plates 7 by 9| inches, and a stereoscopic camera. 
In addition, De Fontenay set up a " veroscope," at a distance of 10 feet 
and a height of 6 feet, on the wardrobe. 




Fig. 24. Photograph taken by flashlight with 
camera inside the cabinet. (sitting of 4 janu- 
ARY, I9II). 




Fig. 25. Drawing after the record of sitting 
of 6 january, i9ii. 



SITTINGS OF MARCH AND APRIL 1911 (PARIS) 87 

The phenomena began about twenty to twenty-five minutes after 
the commencement of the sittmg. When the curtain opened for the 
first time the medium's hands rested on her knees. The skirt had 
subsided between her knees, and in this depression we saw a whitish, 
jelly-like material, 8 or 10 inches long and about 6 inches wide, and 
endowed with its own mobility. On approaching my head I could 
distinctly make out the form of the hand of a child of one or two years. 
The half-flexed first finger and thumb were directed towards us. The 
other three fingers disappeared downwards. The whole structure 
exhibited a rather inert motion, and remained visible for one or two 
minutes. During this time, Eva opened and closed the curtain several 
times. In the ensuing part of the sitting hands, of various shapes and 
sizes, appeared from the right and left of the curtain. Several times 
they appeared in the medium's lap, where they remained longer than the 
others (several seconds), and could, therefore, be more carefully observed. 
The visual impressions interpreted by us as hands were manifested 
about thirty times, while the medium's hands were visible on her lap 
all the time, or were holding the curtains. In some cases the curtain 
before us fell so far over the medium's right knee that the left hand 
disappeared from my view. In such cases I asked Professor Richet, 
who sat on the right, whether he could see the medium's right hand 
from his side, and he always answered in the affirmative. 

It is impossible to describe at all adequately the impressions we 
obtained. Out of a rich store a few are worthy of special mention. 
Thus, I saw a small closed female hand, which appeared to be wrapped 
in a veil, the end of which hung down. From this I distinctly saw two 
finely modelled female fingers emerge. On the first finger I could see 
the shape of a nail. The phenomenon lasted about three seconds and 
was repeated several times, being withdrawn behind the curtain and 
then again emerging into the light. Another, and rather better 
developed hand was exposed at the same place, i.e., to the right of the 
medium, and appeared to be a large male hand, with partially flexed 
fingers. I observed one of these fingers carefully, and compared it 
with those of the medium's visible hand. It was twice as large as 
Eva's fingers. 

During another phenomenon, which took place to the left of the 
medium, the hand of an adult appeared as a white compact mass, in 
which the formation of a hand and fingers could be distinguished in 
low relief. The whole thing recalled a white block of marble, from 
which only the profiles of fingers and hand emerged, while the inter- 
stices between the fingers were filled with the mass. 

During one such materialisation Richet held the left and the author 
the right hand of the medium. The curtain was pretty widely open. 
Suddenly, out of the dark on the left of the medium's head, a hand and 
forearm, visible up to the elbow, appeared with a downward motion 
towards the medium's lap. At the same time a hand became visible 
at the level of her shoulder. I could not distinctly see this hand on 
account of my sitting on the left, whereas the other persons could see 
the phenomenon better. No details could be made out beside the 
unmistakable outlines. 

In contrast with this, and while the medium grasped both curtains 



88 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

with her hands, a white patch formed between her feet in front of us, 
and from this a white column of smoke curled upward (Fig. 26). At its 
upper end a distinctly visible hand formed, ascending to Eva's knees, 
and then disappearing. 

When another hand was observed on my left, i.e., to the right of 
the medium, I quickly inserted my head behind the curtain and saw that 
this hand, thrust into the illuminated portion of the gap, Avas attached 
to a white column which had the approximate length of an adult's fore- 
arm. It emerged from the elbow- joint of the medium in an upward 
and forward direction half to the left, while her own forearm rested 
on her right thigh, so that two forearms appeared to issue from her 
elbow. Although shaded by the curtain, the appearance, owing to its 
light grey or almost white colour, was bright enough to be distinctly 
seen against the faintly illuminated background. The hand itself 
moved, the fingers bending and stretching. The whole emanation did 
not last long enough to perceive any details. 

After this we saw a white mass developing on her breast, starting 
from her neck. During its development Eva gave Richet her left and 
the author her right hand, and expressed a wish to be photographed in 
that situation. Though closely observing this self-moving and ever- 
varying substance, I did not succeed in recognising a perfectly clearly 
materialised hand. Fearing lest the mass might disappear again, 
I gave, after about thirty seconds, the sign to switch on the electric 
current. 

The three photographs (Fig. 27) are quite successful, and will be 
described at the end of this record. The curtain was at once closed, 
in order to allow Eva to recover from the shock. 

Although in other sittings the flash-light exposure generally meant 
the end of the phenomena, this time the medium was able to continue 
her performances. We saw several veiled heads on Eva's left, and at 
about the height of a person standing upright, but these hardly remained 
visible a second. 

The medium several times requested Mme. Bisson to hypnotise 
her by laying her hand on her forehead. The lady of the house entered 
the cabinet and closed the curtain behind her. As she was emerging, 
and closing the curtain behind her, a veiled female head became momen- 
tarily visible. The whole occurrence took place with such rapidity 
that the head had already disappeared at the second opening of the 
curtain, even before Mme. Bisson had sat down. The medium repeated 
this experiment three or four times, calling her protectress into the 
cabinet each time. The bodily contact with her seemed to strengthen 
and soothe Eva. The impression made was as if Mme. Bisson were 
about to draw the picture of the head, by an invisible thread, out of the 
curtain behind her. 

The mixed series of heads, amounting to about a dozen, shows some 
variations. In one case a rather long bright fragment hung down from 
the nose or chin of the materialisation. On another occasion the figure 
recalled the head of an incompletely sculptured marble bust, as in the 
case of the hand previously described. 

Although I was unable, from my seat, to see Eva's head at the same 
time, I did not have the impression that she could have produced these 




Fig. 26. Drawing after record of sitting of 
13 ;\Iarch 191 1. 




Fig. 27. Flashlight photograph by the author, 13 March, igii. 



SITTINGS OF MARCH AND APRIL 1911 (PARIS) 89 

faces, which appeared instantaneously, as if projected by a magic 
lantern, by means of her head alone. The time available for putting 
on, or removing, a mask, and setting up and dismantling the phantom, 
only amounted to one or two seconds in most cases. Another head, 
emerging from the curtain on the left, distinctly showed female features, 
eyes, and veil. The nose resembled Eva's nose, and the phenomenon 
recalled the photograph of the 13th May 1910, Whether, in this 
last case, the medium had risen, and had shown herself to us veiled 
(" transfigured "), cannot be decided. This is possible, although the 
picture itself appeared finer, more etheresl and delicate than Eva's 
face. 

This day's experiments were remarkable for the sculptural character 
of the teleplastic projections. Some of the head and hand shapes 
resembled unfinished plastic works of marble, plaster, or clay, on a 
white background. Perhaps this extraordinary circumstance is 
explained by the fact that Eva inhabits a room connected with 
Mme. Bisson's studio. She is surrounded by sculptures of all sorts, 
and has, through the artistic activity of her protectress, daily oppor- 
tunities of observing the various phases of the development of such 
products. Memory images of this kind may have influenced her 
mediumistic productions. 

The last remarkable phenomenon of this sitting was the emergence 
of an extraordinarily voluminous mass of white fabric from the roof 
of the cabinet, and mainly from the strip hiding the suspension of the 
curtains at a height of 7 feet. It resembled a large bundle of muslin, 
entering the gap of the curtains from above, and falling down and 
disappearing in the dark. The quantity would have sufficed to clothe 
an adult person completely. In this, and the previous occurrences, 
Eva's hands held the curtains, and opened them at each new pheno- 
menon. Half an hour after the flash-light exposure the sitting was 
closed. Still in the hypnotic condition, Eva took off the tights and 
asked to be gynaecologically examined. This and the rest of the 
examination was negative. 

The photograph of the 13th March 1911 shows the medium in the 
cabinet on her chair, with her face turned to the right and painfully 
drawn. Her left hand is held by Professor Richet and her right by the 
author. 

From the opening of her dress at the neck a white, flocculent mass of 
material, about 6 inches wide in the middle, extends over her chest to 
her right thigh, forming a voluminous package of material in her lap, 
and then falling down outside over her left thigh, and ending in a 
point. 

The stereoscopic image, taken from the wardrobe, distinctly shows 
the round hem of the neck opening. The substance is not, therefore, 
as one might conclude from the photographs, taken at the same level, 
tucked in like a napkin, but is freely fixed to the material of the dress. 

The mass itself is not a uniform structure like, e.g., a large piece of 
muslin, but shows a loose consistency with quite a rough exterior, 
like fur or wadding, composed of a bundle of stripes and cords, 
resembling lint or wool, intermixed with transparent veiling. The 
stereoscopic transparency shows the structure more clearly than the 



90 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

simple photograph. Just in the middle, on Eva's breast, there lies 
a solid piece of a flat white substance, larger than a hand, and resembling 
a white paper glove. One also distinctly sees four finger-tips, two of 
which are flattened and bent upwards, also an excrescence pointed 
upwards, and above it a solid, round, plastic structure recalling a thumb- 
joint with a nail. The flat white and sharply bordered piece also 
emerges in a point from under the substance on the right side, and 
can be recognised through the substance lying over it. 

On her left shoulder is a flat form resembling a hand, with an extra 
long thumb ; the finger-tips bent upwards, and the little finger twisted 
about its own axis. This shape resembles not so much a glove as a 
very fine, soft, white paper shape. Any one who is not familiar with 
the observation of mediumistic processes will jump to the conclusion 
that this is gross fraud, and will see an intention of producing the 
optical impression of hands, by means of rough models made of some 
fibrous material. Here, again, the examination of the photograph alone 
is not sufficient to form a judgment. One must take into account the 
record of the sitting in conjunction with further data. 



Sittings of the 8th and 18th April. 

An unusually interesting photograph (Fig. 28) was taken by M. de 
Fontenay at the sitting of the 8th April 1911, in the author's absence. 
Eva sits on the chair, both her hands being held by two gentlemen 
present. A broad scarf-shaped band, with a distinctly parallel striping, 
runs across her head, entirely covering it nearly down to the forehead. 
The left portion falls over the breast in the shape of two long fibrous 
fragments, while the other end of the shawl, lying more in the shade 
on the right, or darker in colour, also consists of parallel stripes, and 
allows two white rounded ends, of a plastic appearance, to emerge 
below, producing the distinct impression of plastically modelled fingers. 
The photograph (Fig. 29) taken by De Fontenay on the 18th April is 
also instructive when the stereoscopic transparency is examined. 
While Eva's hands are being held and the curtain is wide open, the 
medium is seen on her chair with her head bent forward. Over the 
back of it there is something like a broad cloth, adhering to the hair 
like soft and yielding material, and extended like a shawl. The two 
ends hang down on both sides to the middle of Eva's chest, the left 
portion ending in a leaf-shaped branch, turning and widening upwards. 
The whole appears to consist of one piece, as shown in the photograph. 
This photograph is remarkable by the fact of the fabric being thick, 
soft, and yielding at the top, like a woollen material, while the two 
extremities, hanging down, give the appearance of a thin, sharply 
bordered, flat structure, resembling paper. This clearly marked 
contrast in the consistency of the same piece of material is remark- 
able. 

If the teleplasma can undergo such changes, this picture may be 
regarded as an instructive preparation for the flat, sharply bordered 
materials, resembling paper, occuring so often at later sittings, as, for 
instance, in the portraits of heads. 




Fig. 



i8. Flashlight photograph taken by Mons. 

FONTENAY AT SITTING OF 8 APRIL, IQII. 




Fig. 



29. Flashlight photograph by Mons. 

TENAY AT SITTING OF 18 ApRIL, IQII. 



DE FON 



SITTINGS OF MAY AND JUNE 1911 (PARIS) 91 



Sittings of May and June 1911 (Paris). 

The experiments undertaken between 13th March and 8th May 1911 
neither showed any progress, nor any deviations, from the previous 
phenomena. More than two-thirds of these sittings were negative, 
and the positive phenomena fell short of previous performances. My 
arrival in Paris on 8th May 1911 occurred during this unfavourable 
period. 

The first four sittings at which I was present, 8th to 23rd May, 
were without result, and one sitting had to be abandoned on account 
of the sickness of the medium. The first change in Eva's condition 
took place at 8 p.m. on the 18th May, when Mme. Bisson had, as usual, 
hypnotised the medium. While the latter was alone with the medium 
in the cabinet, a smoke-like substance suddenly began to emanate from 
Eva's mouth, while her hands were being held. In order not to weaken 
the medium, in view of the sitting arranged for the next evening, the 
hypnotisation was stopped. Still, the sitting on the 19th May remained 
negative. 

Sitting of the 23rd May 1911. 

Present — M. de Fontenay, Mme. Bisson, and the author. 

The conditions were the same as regards inspection and control of 
the medium and cabinet, as well as dress and illumination. On this day 
only three electric lamps were lighted, since the electric circuit had 
become defective. 

This, however, did not make any perceptible difference to the lighting 
of the room. 

Although no less than seven photographic cameras had been set 
up, no flash-light photographs were taken, on account of the short 
visibility of the very unstable phenomena. 

After waiting three-quarters of an hour, a grey and gradually growing 
mass was seen on the medium's lap, about the size of a large cocoa-nut. 
Eva's hands were visibly clutching the curtains. The mass of material 
appeared to weigh down Eva's thin dress, sank in the depression of the 
dress, and changed its shape with an independent motion. Looking 
closer, I recognised the form of a very small child's hand, which, however, 
did not remain there long. Eva drew the curtains together. After 
this some forms in the shape of hands appeared, on the left-hand side, 
at the part of the curtain before referred to, but these were too fugitive 
to make out any detail. 

At Eva's wish the participators, one after the other, approached 
their foreheads to the curtain and were touched several times. The 
pressure perceived by the author at such a contact was always that of 
a fairly large member, having a cool, hard skin. For a finger the mass 
producing the contact seemed to be fairly broad, and reminded me 
rather of a large toe, or the thumb of an unusually large hand. To 
eliminate any doubt, I repeatedly made sure during the experiment 
that Eva's left knee had not left its place. 



92 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

The author therefore reasoned as follows : — 

If the hand, or whatever member it may be, is as clearly developed 
as the touch suggests, it should be able to grasp and hold an object. 

With this idea he took a piece of cardboard, the size of a post-card, 
out of his pocket, and held it in the place where the member appeared, 
requesting it to take hold of the cardboard. Immediately there were 
attempts to grasp the cardboard, but without success. The cardboard 
was clearly touched, moved to and fro, and pressed against my hand, 
but Avithout being really grasped. Perhaps the object was unsuitable. 
I therefore put it away and held out my handkerchief. It was imme- 
diately seized, and was pulled out of my hand and thrown behind the 
curtain with a violent jerk. Afterwards it was found to the left of the 
medium on the floor. I then held up a golden brooch belonging to 
Mme. Bisson, provided with four short golden chains with breloques 
(4 inches long and weighing one and a third ounces). The brooch was 
also grasped by the ends of the chain, pulled to and fro as if in play, 
and then thrown with a strong jerk behind the curtain, where it fell to 
the ground. 

During this phenomenon Eva's hands were held by M. de Fontenay 
and myself. Her head lay in the shade of the curtain, on the back of 
the chair. Eva talked during these occurrences, so that the mechanical 
participation of her mouth is excluded. The last performance had 
fatigued the medium to such an extent that the sitting had to be 
closed. 

For the critical discussion of these observations it should be pointed 
out that although the three experiments were extemporised, they still 
succeeded. They could, therefore, not have been prepared for in any 
way. 

Final control negative. 

Sitting of the 24th May 1911. 

Conditions, participators, and cameras as on 23rd May. 

The medium passed the night of the 23rd-24th without sleep. Yet 
she wished for a further sitting on the 24th. 

During the first hour Eva lay obviously in a deep sleep, and did not 
attempt to produce phenomena. She appeared unconscious and 
unconcerned. Her regular breathing was the only audible sign of life. 
According to our experience no phenomena occur during this stage of 
deep somnolence. As soon as a partial awakening from the deep sleep 
occurs, and a stage of active somnambulism sets in, in which the second 
personality dominates Eva's reduced consciousness, mediumistic per- 
formances may be expected.^ 

During the phenomena there is always a spiritual connection of the 
medium with those present, even when the medium appears sunk in 
a passive lethargy and quite taken up with the act of production. But, 
as a rule, she takes part in the conversation of those present, puts in 
remarks or instructions, and sometimes asks questions, e.g., whether 

^ This is an individual peculiarity, and not common to all mediums. 



SITTINGS OF MAY AND JUNE 1911 (PARIS) 93 

the developing creation is already visible to us. As before mentioned, 
Eva's personality reappears in the somnambulic state, but combined 
with an increase in her mental functions. 

During the deep sleep the connection with the external world is 
almost broken off. The deep sleep may often be converted into the 
half-awakened state of consciousness by verbal suggestion, unless it 
occurs spontaneously after some time. On this occasion Eva began 
to enter the state of active somnambulism after about an hour. She 
gave signs of life, entered into the conversation, and showed, by blowing 
actions of the mouth and deep audible respirations, the endeavour to 
materialise. 

The somnambulist appeared anxious to continue where she had 
left off the day before. Just as was described in the last sitting, we 
saw plastically developed hand shapes emerge several times in succession 
from the left curtain, in the same place as before. On my stretching 
forward my left hand it was touched several times on its palm, and 
again I had the impression of being touched by a big toe. An attempt 
at photography failed, the phenomenon having disappeared at the 
moment of the flash. After the photograph, a forearm and hand 
became visible, and a fist appeared at right angles to her right hand. 
Those present were several times touched on the forehead and hand. 
Final examination negative. Close of the sitting, 11.15 p.m., after a 
duration of an hour and a half. 



Sitting of the 27th May 1911. 

Present. — M. S., Mme. Bisson, and the author. 

Three cameras ; conditions and illumination as on the 23rd. 
The whole sitting lasted twenty minutes, and showed nothing new. 
A nebulous mass was seen in the medium's lap, and fugitive shapes, 
of very short duration, between the curtains. 

Sitting of the 29th May 1911. 

Present. — M. de Fontenay, Mme. Bisson, and the author. 

Conditions as on 23rd May. Six cameras. A camera, specially 
prepared for close-range photographs, was attached to the wall in the 
cabinet on the medium's right. Three cameras faced the medium, and 
two were on the wardrobe. 

The kind of phenomena seen did not differ from those of the last 
sittings. Some forms, resembling human members, became visible at 
the curtain to the left of the medium, about 2 feet above her hands, 
and about 32 inches from her head. Touches on the forehead and 
hand, as in previous sittings. The skm was hard and cool, and the 
touching surface was wider than a finger. 

The failure of the last photographic exposure suggested to the 
author the idea of providing for the rapidly disappearing structure 
a point of attachment (Fig. 29). 



94 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

I took a cigarette from my case and requested the medium to grasp 
the cigarette when held against the curtain gap by means of the 
materialised structure. Since I had no success, Mme. Bisson held the 
cigarette towards the spot described. At the moment when the struc- 
ture approached the cigarette, touched it and became visible, the 
flash-light was ignited. 

Eva's hands at that moment grasped the curtain. In spite of the 
nervous shock consequent on the photograph, the phenomena continued. 
Among these should be mentioned the appearance of a small child's 
hands between Eva's hands, as they rested on her knees. This hand 
lay across the medium's lap, opened and closed into a fist. It also 
several times beat with its palm upon the back of Eva's right hand, 
and we could distinctly hear the clapping sound. In this case, therefore, 
the visual impression was confirmed by the sense of hearing. 

At Eva's request, Mme. Bisson then took both the medium's hands 
in hers. Even under those conditions the small mobile hand remained 
visible. 

Final control negative. Sitting closed at 11.30. 

The negative (Fig. 30) produced by the camera facing the cabinet 
(7 by 9| inches) shows in the background the medium's face with the 
mouth half open, both hands in the foreground grasping the curtain. 
Above the left hand, about the level of the medium's head, we see a 
portion of a plasticdlly-formed member in a curious foreshortening. It 
is undoubtedly a left foot. One sees the big toe as if seen from below, 
with a distinct fold of skin on the ball of the foot, and the tips of the 
second and third toes. The lower surface of the big toe projects beyond 
the horizontally-held cigarette, so that the latter nearly touches the 
tip of the second toe. It looks like an attempt to hold the cigarette 
between the first and second toe. The stereoscopic apparatus confirms 
the picture, and particularly the plastic formation of the member. 

The cameras standing on the wardrobe, and being pointed down 
from above, give a different picture, in this sense — that one sees the 
cigarette lower, and the first and second toe projecting beyond it. A 
careful examination of the magnified photographs eliminated any 
doubts that this member could be anything but the point of a foot. 
The author's first impression was that it belonged to the medium's left 
foot. 

In order to examine this question in greater detail, I went as soon 
as the plate had been developed, i.e., before either Mme. Bisson or the 
medium knew the result, to the seance room, and made them give me 
the black knitted tights used by Eva for the sittings. 

The material covering the sole of the left foot did indeed show 
some holes nearly an inch wide, apparently due to ordinary wear, 
but not large enough to allow the three toes and the ball of the foot 
to pass through — these amounting to about one-third of the foot, 
according to the photograph. 

Further investigations with the medium in the cabinet show that 
it is impossible for Eva to raise her left foot so high, and to put it in 
the place where the toes were photographed, while maintaining the 
upright position shown in the photograph. 




Fig. 30. Flashlight photograph by the author, 
29 May, 1911. 




Fig. 31. Flashlight photograph by the author, 7 June, 1911. 



SITTINGS OF MAY AND JUNE 1911 (PARIS) 95 

The left leg would have had to be raised outside the left arm. 
Finally, the size and the build of Eva's left foot do not accord with 
the structure photographed. Measured by comparison with the length 
of the cigarette, the medium's big toe is relatively larger than the toe 
photographed. Although, on our part, all possible objections were 
investigated, the evidential force of this photograph does suffer by the 
presence of the holes in the sole of the stocking. In order to guard 
against such a source of error in the future, the author bought a new 
pair of black woollen tights, made in one piece, which extended from 
the feet to above the hips. These were regularly used in the following 
sittings. 

Sittings of the 3rd and 6th June 1911. 
Without result. 

Sitting of the 7th June 1911. 

Present. — M. de Fontenay, Mme. Bisson, and the author. 

Sitting commenced at 9.30 p.m. The defective electric lamp having 
been repaired, four electric lamps lighted up the room during the whole 
sitting. Conditions and control as usual. Eva this day wore the 
new tights. She undressed in the seance room and put on the seance 
costume in our presence, after we had carefully examined it. 

Five cameras were ready, two on the wardrobe, two facing the 
curtain at a distance of 10 feet, and one in the cabinet, which, as usual, 
had been carefully searched. 

Obviously, m consequence of the discussion of the toes photo- 
graphed, the medium demanded a special control of her feet. She 
stretched herself on her chair, and laid them on our knees, so that 
M. de Fontenay had charge of her left foot and I of her right foot, outside 
the curtain. She also gave me her right hand and M. de Fontenay 
her left hand. Her head was visible as soon as she had opened the 
curtain with the hands held by us. The control demanded by the 
medium herself, which, in addition to an illumination by four electric 
lamps, placed her hands and feet entirely in our power, and excluded all 
co-operation of these members during the production of the phenomena, 
may surely be taken as meeting every objection. In these circum- 
stances there appeared on her left side, at about the level of her head, 
but more than 20 inches away from it, the distinct form of a left hand, 
with a portion of an arm corresponding approximately in size to a female 
hand. 

This strongly luminous, strongly outlined, and freely suspended 
structure, apparently made up of a paplike mass, quickly moved 
down to about the middle of her breast, and disappeared behind the 
curtain. The whole process took two or three seconds — -rather a long 
time — and was repeated five times, so that we had sufficient time for 
exact observation. The fingers were separated and directed down- 



96 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

wards, but showed no skin colour, nor any other detail. In fact, they 
accurately corresponded in their appearance with those hand shapes 
which we had photographed on several occasions. 

Special interest attaches to the undoubted perception that the hand 
shape appeared to be quite flat, as seen in previous photographs. We 
had, therefore, under these rigid conditions, the freely suspended flat 
sketch of a female hand endowed with independent motion. In spite 
of its imperfect development, it was mobile, and independent of the 
medium's body. The whole observation is of importance in connection 
with the criticism of the glove-like forms seen in several photographs. 
It tells against the hypothesis of fraud, and in favour of the genuine 
character of this peculiar formative process. 

Releasing the foot, I extended my right hand into the curtain and 
asked to be touched on the palm by the materialised hand. Four times 
it approached to within about 4 inches, but it regularly disappeared 
again, as if repelled by the radiation from the human skin. 

Again, at a critical moment, unfortunately the electric circuit for 
the ignition of the magnesium failed. On this occasion it would have 
been easy to photograph the freely suspended hand, since it remained 
exposed, for several seconds, to the influence of our gaze and to the 
light. The fault in the circuit was found and remedied, so that, at 
least in the second half of the sitting, a photograph was possible. After 
we had taken our places again, and had re-established the previous 
control, we soon saw on Eva's breast, and in her lap, that veil-like 
mass which had once before been photographed. I approached my 
hand in order to grasp it, but it regularly receded before me and dis- 
appeared. While the medium's hands and feet were held by the 
observers as described, we saw a veil -like strip, about 4 inches broad 
and 20 inches long, descending from the left-hand upper region. It 
was more feebly developed, and was less distinctly seen, than the 
previous phenomena (Fig. 30). 

On again perceiving the apparently woven fabric, in the medium's 
lap, the flash-light was ignited, and the phenomenon disappeared at the 
same moment. 

The sitting closed at 11.30. Examination of the medium and 
cabinet negative. 

Taking into account the wearing of the new tights and the strict 
supervision of her extremities, the results of this evening form a justifi- 
cation for the medium, as they prove that Eva does not require either 
her hands or feet for the production of the phenomena. 

The photographs (Figs. 31 and 32), both simple and stereoscopic, 
show the following aspect : the author holds the medium's right hand 
and right foot, while her right foot rests on his left knee. On the 
other side, De Fontenay holds her left hand with his right, her left foot 
rests on De Fontenay's left knee, and is held by Mme. Bisson's hand. 
In his left hand De Fontenay holds the press-button for igniting the 
magnesium light, and his thumb is just exerting the pressure. 

The medium herself has her head bent forward. The features 
indicate a certain energetic concentration of the will. On her chest is 
seen, at the height of her shoulders, a broad white fabric resembling 
muslin, which falls down into her lap and is shaded just where it bends 




O w 

§1 




H 

0. z; 



2 ^ 

EC o 



< 

OS w 

W K 

H H 



U< (J 




Fig. 3^^. Flashlight photograph by de 
FoNTENAY, 24 June, lyii. 



SITTINGS OF MAY AND JUNE 1911 (PARIS) 97 

to the left, while it vanishes on her right side into the material of the 
dress. On the left side, the fabric is transparent, and underneath it 
are seen two sharply-defined forms, resembling fuiger-tips cut out of 
white paper. 

The photograph taken by the camera set up in the cabinet (Fig. 32) 
shows the medium in profile. In that photograph the fabric gives 
the impression of a material strongly bulging forward, and having a 
sharp edge below, recalling, to some extent, a mass of plaster of Paris. 
One also recognises the form of a finger-tip. The upper part of the 
fabric is surrounded by a radiating aura. But whether this is simply 
the effect of the luminous white colour on the photographic plate, or is 
produced by the composition of the fabric, is difficult to decide. 



Further Observations during June and July 1911 

(Paris). 

Sittings of the 10th and 24th June 1911. 

On the 10th June 1911, M. de Fontenay succeeded in photographing 
the material radiating from the top of the medium's head (Fig. 33). 
Although the picture is somewhat blurred, the stereoscopic trans- 
parency shows the situation best. Eva sits with head bent forward 
in the cabinet. A broad strip of white material runs from the back of 
her head, on the left, over the top, and ends in a fork with a projection. 
Two broad strips branch out from the main portion, backwards and 
downwards, while a portion resembling a leaf, and attached to the main 
body by a narrow stalk, lies over the hair in front. The photograph 
(Fig. 34), taken on the 24th June 1911 by De Fontenay, in the author's 
absence, is interesting as throwing a light on the genesis of the so-called 
transfiguration, i.e., in the spiritistic sense, the medium takes upon 
herself the part of the " spirit," endeavouring to dramatise the character 
of the person in question, by clothing herself in the materialised fabrics. 
This transition stage is found in nearly all materialisation mediums. 
The literature of the subject records a large number of attempts at 
exposure of mediums thus impersonating " spirits," e.g., that of the 
medium Bastian by the Crown Prince Rudolph ; that of Crookes's 
medium, Miss Cook ; that of Mrs d'Esperance, etc. In all these cases 
the medium was seized, but the fabrics used for masking immediately 
disappeared, and were not afterwards found. 

In our case, Mme. Bisson held the medium's right hand. The 
medium had risen from her chair, bent forward, and stretched her 
head out of the curtains, while her left opened the curtain. Of Eva's 
face we only see the nose, a portion of the cheeks, and the mouth. 
The whole upper head, and the upper half of the nose, is bound up in 
a striped dark material in several layers and in the form of a helmet, 
so that the eyes are completely covered. Over this is a fabric recalling, 
in its transparency and in its uniform parallel pattern, the previous 
creations. A second and larger packet of material, of the same com- 

G 



^h PHENOlVIENA OF MATERIALISATION 

position, is held in her mouth. This material hangs down upon her 
hands, and seems connected with the head-covering. For this inter- 
esting masquerade a considerable quantity of some bright transparent 
material, also of some dark material, would have been necessary. 

Communication by Letter. 

The following description is contained in a letter of Mme. Bisson to 
the author, of the 3rd July 1911 : — 

" At nine o'clock last night (2nd July 1911) I hypnotised Eva, 
as usual, in the cabinet. I had hardly approached her when she threw 
herself on one side, with her mouth open, and with that stertorous 
breathing that you are familiar with. Much astonished, I closed the 
curtains behmd me and remained with Eva in the cabinet, holding her 
two hands and waiting, as I foresaw the occurrence of phenomena. 
Eva's hands had grown cold, and the stertorous breathing continued. 
Then I saw, descending from her left shoulder, masses of material, 
which fell over her chest down on the right side. 

" I then asked that the mass should come to me. Almost imme- 
diately after I had uttered this wish, a large packet was thrown on 
my head from behind. It glided over my face and eyes, moving inde- 
pendently like an animal with a moist skin. I had the sensation as 
of touching a snail, and the material had a peculiar smell, difficult to 
define. 

" During these occurrences I continued to hold both the medium's 
hands. The living material glided along down my back, hanging over 
from one shoulder to the other, and entirely enveloping me, something 
like what is seen in the case of the medium in the last photograph. 

'' The whole mass dissolved quite suddenly and disappeared, while 
I still held the medium's hand. After a pause of several minutes, 
Eva said to me, ' It will now come into your hand. Stretch out your 
hand as flat as possible, and bring it near my left side.' 

" She then took, my right arm in both her hands, and in this position 
I stretched forward my right hand. Immediately afterwards I felt, in 
the hollow of my hand, something resembling a pigeon's egg, which, 
however, was connected with Eva's left shoulder by a broad band of 
the substance. I then withdrew quite slowly, still holding this egg-like 
substance in my hand, and my arm still held by both Eva's hands. 
Thus I gradually got into the light at the opening of the curtain, 

" The material has an ash-grey aspect, and is traversed by threads 
like a delicate skin. It is cool, moist and living. I slowly approached 
my left hand to the material, touched it and followed it with my hand 
up to its origin. A large knot of dense and tough substance was 
found emerging from Eva's left shoulder. 

'• Suddenly the material was withdrawn from my right hand, and 
I felt that it receded towards Eva's left shoulder, escaping from under 
my hand. 

" Another pause, after which the phenomena recommenced. Laying 
my right hand on Eva's left shoulder, and holding with my left her 
two joined hands, I felt myself pulled and touched on the hair with the 
fingers. 



OBSERVATIONS DURING JUNE AND JULY 1911 (PARIS) 99 

" Thereupon Eva took my right arm in both her hands. This time 
the material was thrown on my right hand and on her hands, com- 
pletely enclosing our hands. I then commenced to pull again and to 
draw the material outwards, proceeding as tenderly as possible, in 
order not to hurt the medium. When I began to examine the material, 
it had curled right round my hand. Suddenly Eva made a movement 
with her hands, lying on my arm, and involuntarily pulled at the 
material held by me. It obviously frightened and hurt her, lor she 
screamed, and gave me great anxiety. I tried to soothe her, but she 
complained of a strong nausea. The material, this time, quickly dis- 
appeared on her left breast. The nausea continued for about ten 
minutes. Immediately after the scream she fled, in her hypnotic 
condition, out of the cabinet into the room, and would not return. I 
soothed her gradually, and awakened her outside the cabinet." 

In a letter of the 9th July, the above communications were sup- 
plemented as follows, in answer to some questions of mine :— 

" As I stood in the cabinet, and Eva's stertorous breathing com- 
menced, I carefully opened the left flap of the curtain behind me, and 
the light thus entering, allowed me to see the phenomena. In holding 
the material in my hand, I had the impression of some dense but soft 
matter, neither quite hard nor quite soft. The material penetrated 
Eva's dress, and, the moment I touched the shoulder with my left 
hand, it quickly disappeared. Eva felt all my movements, including 
that by which I touched the material. The touch itself does not make 
her suffer, but it^ hurts her when I begin to draw the material away. 
A pin inserted in^the material would cause Eva pain. 

"One might succeed in removing the material as soon as the 
materialisation is sufficiently separated from her. But one must not 
try to cut off a piece, or to pull it away brusquely, while the material 
is still in connection with her. In any case, one must avoid hurting 
her by an incorrect procedure. ^ 

" In her somnambulistic condition, Eva says : ' It is not I who 
produce or create. It is an entity independent of me, which borrows 
material from me, and can go out beyond my body. That cannot 
take place in the light and in the daytime.' This is also corroborated 
by the circumstance that she has produced phenomena at moments 
miexpected by herself or by me. She claims to submit to an unknown 
power, which directs her. She, therefore, never knows whether she 
can produce or not. She looks upon herself simply as a machine." 



Sittings of July and August ipii at St Jean de Luz. 

The Bisson family had taken for the summer of 1911 a villa at St Jean 
de Luz, a picturesquely situated watering-place 10 miles from Biarritz. 
The medium, Eva C, accompanied them thither. 

In order to continue his observations, the author went to Biarritz 



100 



PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 



in July, and between the 21st July and the 26th August 1911 he took 
part in eighteen sittings. 

Experimental Room. — A room on the ground floor, with a single 
entrance, was reserved exclusively for the sittings. An inspection of 
the external walls showed no opening, or access, except the window. 
The window itself had wooden shutters, which were closed before every 
sitting. x\lso, the only door was locked, before everj^ sitting, with a 
key, which the author, or one of the other sitters, kept in his pocket. 

The cabinet arranged for our purposes had walls lined with thin 
black material, and had a roof at a height of 7| feet. The separate 
portions of the material were joined by a sewing-machine, and had no 
folds or pockets into which one could have inserted a finger, much 
less a hand. The curtains were mounted on rings running along a 
metal rod. They consisted of the same black stuff, sewn on to the 
lining of the cabinet wall at the sides. A light wicker chair, enamelled 
black, and partly covered with the same material, was used by the 
medium as a seat. Everything else can be seen from the Diagram. 

Sea/7 ce /fffo/n a?"" SUea/7 e/e Luz 




/6/2J/:. 



//e/f/?/ G/c<7S//?ef 6//: Sj'n 
a,6,c ^J/fferj. 



Diagram IV. 



Illumination. — The pendant hanging from the centre of the ceiling 
had four electric lamps, the middle one of thirty-two candle-power and 



SITTINGS AT ST JEAN DE LUZ, 1911 101 

the three others of sixteen candle-power each. The thirty-two candle- 
power lamp was surrounded by a red globe. The other three only had 
a simple shade of red glass ; but, since the carpet and ceiling appeared 
nearly white, they gave such an intense light that at first we also 
reduced these lamps, by encasing them in red globes, so that the 
electric light then had to traverse a double layer of red glass. 

Since the room then appeared too dark, we removed the ruby globe 
from one of the lamps before the sitting of the 2nd August, while the 
other two lamps retained their double red-glass envelope. This 
illumination made the room appear considerably lighter than it did in 
Paris. 

If we desired to reduce the light we could switch off the sixteen 
candle-power lamps, so that only the thirty-two candle-power lamp 
shone through a white and a ruby glass. 

The dress of the medium consisted of the tights supplied by the 
author in Paris, which enveloped her up to the hips, and a black dress 
made at St Jean de Luz, without any trimmings or collar, which closed 
tight round the neck, and was, before each sitting, sewn up behind, 
from the neck down to the waist. Furthermore, Mme. Bisson, before 
every sitting, joined the tights to the dress by a close-stitched seam 
passing round the waist, and sewed up both sleeves at the wrist, in 
such a Avay that the sleeves fitted closely to the wrist. For this purpose 
eight or nine white threads w^ere necessary, which were always joined 
by knots. 

The searching of the medium took place before and after each 
sitting, in the same w^ay as in Paris, The inedium entered the room 
with the seance costume, and put on the tights in our presence. Before 
every sitting we were allowed to insert the hand between the dress and 
the skin, to make sure that no white veils or similar things were con- 
cealed about the body. Besides this, the hair, nose, and mouth were 
examined, but always without result. 

The inspection of the cabinet, before and after the experiments, 
by the various sitters, never showed anything remarkable, in spite of 
the greatest care. 

The hypnotisation of the medium was done regularly by Mme. Bisson, 
who took a seat in front of the cabinet, and always under the eyes of 
those present. Fixation of the eyes and touching of the medium's 
hands sufficed to put her into a state of trance in barely half a minute. 
Only after this was the white light extinguished, so that the red lamps 
alone were burning. 

The photographic exposures during the sittings were prepared by 
the author, and were all carried out with his three cameras, placed 
some 10 feet in front of the cabinet. 

The magnesium itself (about a tenth of an ounce) was ignited by 
the electric current derived from the mains, with the help of a pear- 
push held in the author's hand and connected by a flexible cord. All 
the slides were inserted by the author himself. The cameras were 
opened in the red light only, and reiriained open during the whole 
sitting. It onl}'^ required a pressure on the contact to photograph 
any situation which appeared suitable to the author. The first three 
sittings of 21st, 22nd, and 25th July were without result. 



102 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

Sitting of the 28th July 1911. 
Present. — Mme. Bisson ; a German physician, Dr A., and the author. 

Commencement of the experiment at 8.45. Conditions of control 
as above. Dr A. himself searched the cabinet, the seance costume, 
and the medium before and after the sitting, and took charge of the 
key of the room. Illumination as above described. 

Very soon after the commencement of the sitting some large patches 
were seen on the medium's upper arm, and some strips about a foot 
long. 

We formed a chain. Mme. Bisson sitting in the centre gave her 
right hand to Dr A. and her left to me. Eva gave her left hand into 
Dr A.'s right, and her right hand into my left, so that the circle was 
closed, with the curtains open. The latter, however, the medium held 
with her thumbs, so as to be able to bring the phenomena from the 
shade into the light, by moving the curtains. 

Her feet were stretched out and lay in Mme. Bisson's lap. Under 
these conditions two large faint patches appeared on her upper body, 
changing from place to place ; then some sketchy, white, imperfectly 
developed structures, which were not visible to us longer than from 
one to three seconds, but which already showed a tendency to the 
formation of hands. 

The shapes were flat, emerged from a mass showing automatic 
motion, and showed finger-shaped excrescences, which seemed to move 
of their own accord. Finally, we saw emerging from the curtain on 
the left, a clearly drawn female right hand (of the size of Eva's hand), 
with a forearm swathed in a wide sleeve, resembling veiling or 
lace. 

'^ This shape was not apparently in direct connection with Eva's 
body. It remained visible for two or three seconds, but was flat, as 
if cut out of paper. 

During further formations of this sort, which all showed a tendency 
to take the shapes of hands or arms, the flat character became less 
noticeable. More or less plastically developed forearms, with hands, 
showed themselves about six times. 

In one case, a hand came from the medium's left side and disappeared 
on the right, behind the curtain. This appearance was at about the 
level of the medium's head. I may add that, during the whole of these 
occurrences, the head was always under the scrutiny of our eyes, and 
often exposed to the light. Out of the series of visual perceptions, 
which only represent repetitions and variations of the same theme, a few 
characteristic ones may be mentioned. 

While the conditions of the experiment remained unchanged, so 
that Eva's whole body was under control, she closed the curtains with 
the hands held by A. and by me. Suddenly, a third hand appeared about 
a foot above Eva's hands, in the shape of a fist, emerging from the 
curtain. It was plastically well developed, but appeared to possess 
only three fingers. 

In a few cases we saw hands above her head, with fingers pointing 
forward. On the whole, the phenomena appeared less distinct and 



SITTINGS AT ST JEAN DE LUZ, 1911 103 

less materialised than during the last observations in Paris. This 
may have been due to the brighter illumination and change of climate. 

Among other appearances, I may mention a broad veil-like mass, 
which came from the left shoulder, descended into Eva's lap, showed 
automatic motion, and disappeared before our eyes. 

Only once after the majority of the phenomena mentioned occurred 
did Mme. Bisson enter the cabinet, in order to soothe the tired medium 
by placing her hand on her forehead. 

Then, when Eva's hands became warm — a sign that she could not 
produce anything more — the sitting had to be closed. 

Still in the state of somnambulism, Eva rose, approached Dr A., 
and asked to be searched. Dr A. verified that all the seams and the 
whole dress were in order, and was the first to enter the cabinet for the 
final search, which was also negative. 



Sitting of the 31st July. 



Negative. 



M. Bisson, on the SOth July, had a paralytic stroke, with left-sided 
hemiplegia. This sad occurrence, the excitements and anxieties in the 
family, brought about by it, and the sleepless night spent in nursing 
him, from the 30th to 31st July, disturbed the psychic equilibrium of 
the sitters required for a successful sitting. 

Sitting of the 2nd August 1911. 

Present. — Mme. Bisson, Dr A., and the author. 

Conditions as on the 28th July. Time, 9 to 11 p.m. Illumination 
as above. 

The medium's body, including mouth, nose, hair, and arm-pits, 
her dress and the cabinet, were thoroughly examined by Dr A. and the 
author. Without the knowledge of the ladies concerned, Dr A. had 
made a red mark on Eva's dress, in order to make sure that there was 
no substitution of clothing. 

Dr A. also watched most minutely the process of hypnotisationfrom 
beginning to end. Mechanical aids towards the production of pheno- 
mena were not found hidden anywhere. 

A quarter of an hour after the hypnotisation, what we may call 
the " transformation of energy " in Eva's organism began. This time 
the large white mass seemed to issue from the mouth, which was bent 
to the left. The substance extended from the left shoulder, in the 
shape of large patches, 8 to 12 inches wide, on to her breast, and changed 
their character several times. Eva's hands, meanwhile, held the 
curtain, and were constantly visible. The substance appeared several 
times lying on her hair, and flat forms of hands were seen. 

At the commencement of this stage, Eva gave her two hands to 
Dr A. and myself, as in the sitting of 28th July. These hands we held 
during the ensuing phenomena without interruption. But the medium's 



104 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

thumbs held the curtams, in order to be able to close them more or less, 
and so regulate the light falling on the materialised products. She 
also laid her feet on our knees, her left foot on Dr A.'s, and her right 
on mine. The head, as in the sitting of 28th July, was always under 
scrutiny, and was seen by me during nearly all the phenomena. By 
this procedure Eva had excluded all her limbs from co-operation in 
the phenomena. Our first optical perceptions during this period were 
at about the level of Eva's head. At first we saw large indistinct patches 
which, with a gradual and automatic flowing motion, formed themselves 
into flat hands without any detail. Their colour was white, but appeared 
reddish under the illumination. Their size was variable. Sometimes 
the forms resembled female hands, and sometimes male hands. On 
one occasion a male forearm and hand, clothed in a sleeve and extending 
up to the elbow, proceeded from a point at the level of her head. This 
arm made a rapid movement downward towards a position in front of 
her face and disappeared. 

A further group of optical images developed at her right hip under 
the elbow, i.e., on my side, in such a manner that they were covered 
by the curtain and invisible to me, but were clearly observed by Dr A., 
who sat directly opposite. Dr A. found that this substance developed 
into a hand. Then followed a rest-pause. The curtain was closed 
and the limbs liberated. 

The same conditions were then restored as regards the control of 
hands and feet. On reopening the curtains the mass, invisible to me, 
lay on her right shoulder. Dr A. observed that a hand emerged from 
this viscous and apparently luminous substance. He also thought he 
observed the lifting of this hand from the body of the medium, and 
some motions of the fingers. 

On his giving the sign for the ignition of the magnesium light, I 
pressed the button. The photographs were successful, and confirmed 
the accuracy of the visual impressions, especially the stereoscopic 
plate. 

The photograph (Figs. 35 and 36) shows the control of the hands 
and feet. Mme. Bisson holds the medium's right foot, lying on my 
left knee, the tip of her left foot projects beyond A.'s left knee. Both 
her hands, which hold the curtain, are held ^ by A. and me. The 
medium's head is bent and clearly visible. The seam in her dress is 
clearly seen, and behind the head a portion of the back of the chair. 

On her right shoulder is a broad mass resembling a thick white 
cloth, and hanging dovm to the middle of her chest. Over her shoulder, 
at the sleeve, a flat white hand, with four clearly-dra\Mi fingers, is seen, 
the joints of which follow the rounding of the shoulder and appear bent 
in front. The whole of the back of the hand is distinctly seen, and the 
relative sizes are correct. The thumb is not there, but the first finger 
and the part of the hand which would join the thumb is seen to merge 
into a white substance without any demarcation, as if the hand were 
only part of the whole substance. Besides the fingers, there is a narrow 
stalk which emerges from the base of the hand backwards and points 
over the shoulders." ' The form of the hand is flat, and its surface lacks 

' Visible on the original plates. This part was omitted in the above picture, so that 
the other foot is not seen. 




H ii' 







o a\ 
o . 



SITTINGS AT ST JEAN DE LUZ, 1911 105 

all detail. This whole experiment is of interest, inasmuch as Dr A., 
while controlling all the medium's limbs, observed the growth of a 
hand-shaped body out of an automatically-moving substance, from 
beginning to end, and gave the signal for the photographic record when 
he considered the process terminated. The photograph confirms the 
correctness of the appearance. In this case the time of observation 
was about one minute. 

When the flash-light flared up Eva screamed. Mme. Bisson took 
her handkerchief and entered the cabinet to wipe Eva's face and mouth. 
When she came out and showed us the handkerchief it was quite wet, 
and showed traces of blood. 

After a short pause the sitting continued. The hands and feet 
were left free, but the hands could be regularly seen during the occur- 
rences about to be described, either lying on her knees or holding the 
curtain. The appearance of hands and arms at a level of the medium's 
head was repeated several times. 

On one occasion Eva closed the curtain, though her hands remained 
visible at the curtain from without. Suddenly, I saw at a height of 
16 inches above her hands, a fist, which fell like a meteorite in front 
of our eyes and disappeared on the floor. 

While Eva's hands rested visibly on her knees, and the curtain was 
half open, suddenly a third hand grasped the left-hand flap of the 
curtain from within and closed it. This third hand, at Dr A.'s wish, 
gave a tap on the back of his right hand. 

Subsequently some misty or cloudy spherical forms, about the size 
of a head, became visible above Eva's head. On one occasion the profile 
of a human face appeared instantaneously on the left. Then a piece 
of veil came on the left, out of the curtain, and fell on Eva's hand. It 
was large and transparent, so that the hand could be seen through it, 
and was withdrawn by a turning motion, while Eva's hands were quite 
motionless. 

After the conclusion of the sitting a detailed examination of the 
medium and cabinet was undertaken. Eva had emerged from the 
curtain in the somnambulic state, and requested to be searched, but 
the final examination was without result. 



Sittings of the 5th and 7th August. 



Negative. 



On the 5th August Eva was out of sorts before the sitting, and 
strongly resisted all attempts to awaken her from the somnambulic 
state. In order to produce a slight shock in her nervous system, the 
author took a needle and made a prick in her neck. The medium 
reacted to this harmless intervention with a violent fit of rage, followed 
by an hysterical crisis, with nausea and convulsive weeping. Not 
quite completely awakened, she went to bed, and turned up the next 
morning with her head wrapped up. Even shortly after the sitting a 



106 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

red patch, the size of a florin, was observed on her neck, probably the 
result of an auto-suggestive local hyperaemia. 

It was only on the 6th August, in the evening, after very serious 
representations by Mme. Bisson, that Eva's excitement subsided. 



Sitting of the 8th August 1911. 
Sitters, — Mme. Bisson and the author. 

This day Eva took part in a motor excursion, and was apparently 
well disposed. 

Conditions as on the 2nd August. 

Eva showed the strongest desire to produce some phenomena, but 
for a long time her efforts remained unavailing. In order to facilitate 
the process of development, the author reduced the light, extinguishing 
the three sixteen candle-power lamps, so that only the thirty-two 
candle-power lamp remained. 

Then followed feeble attempts at materialisation. First, at Eva's 
left shoulder, some grey and indefinite cloudy patches were seen ; then, 
while her hands were visible, a three-cornered mass, the size of a 5s. piece, 
appeared in her lap, which sometimes was bright and sometimes was 
darker, then disappeared and reappeared. It finally receded, leaving 
only a bright point, which slowly vanished. 

This evening's experiences are instructive, inasmuch as they show 
that the phenomena do not solely depend on the medium's will, but 
that other entirely unknown factors play a part in their genesis. 



Sitting of the 9th August 1911. 
Sitters. — Dr A., Mme. Bisson, and the author. 

Conditions as on 2nd August. Minute inspection of medium and 
cabinet. 

Immediately after the beginning of the sitting the well-known large 
strips and veils were perceived at her left shoulder. These were in 
constant motion, while the visible hands were at rest. They fell down, 
changed their shape, and swathed Eva's left lower arm as with a 
bandage. On one occasion they sank down to the floor, and remained 
lying in the cabinet on the medium's left, without her making any 
movement. 

Dr A. then took Eva's left hand, and the author her right, as described 
in the sitting of the 2nd August. She placed her feet in the lap of the 
lady of the house, who sat between us. 

Under these conditions the same play of formations began, already 



SITTINGS AT ST JEAN DE LUZ, 1911 107 

repeated!}^ described, sometimes to the right of her head, sometimes 
to the left of it, sometimes above her head, which remained constantly 
under our supervision. Some of these formations took the form of 
hands. 

We then expressed a wish that a hand might be formed, indepen- 
dently of her body, i.e., without any visible support, and that this 
hand should grasp a cigarette, held by Mme. Bisson against the left 
curtain. We then saw a bright, freely suspended white patch, which 
condensed and seemed to form a hand. This hand made several 
attempts to approach the cigarette. There were five or six such 
attempts without the desired result. This cloudy structure invariably 
recoiled from the cigarette, at a distance of from 4 to 6 inches. But 
Mme. Bisson's hand, holding the cigarette, was several times touched 
through the curtain. 

The formative tendencies were at work for about twenty minutes. 
Sometimes we distinctly saw hands, which, however, did not remain 
visible for more than a second. Again, as in the sitting of the 
2nd August, a hand emerged out of the curtain from the left, dis- 
appearing behind the curtain on the right, at the level of the medium's 
head. On the whole, the formations had a less developed and more 
fugitive character than in previous sittings. 

We thereupon released the hands (held up to then), though we 
could control them during the ensuing phenomena, when they usually 
held the curtain. 

At this stage of the sitting there was a remarkable appearance of a 
hand above Eva's head. It appeared a faint gre}', was finely drawn, 
with fingers directed downwards, and wrists. I had the impression of 
its being a right hand. This optical appearance was also fugitive, and 
limited to about one second. 

Dr A. was able to recognise, above Eva's head, a spherical structure. 
Then there emerged from the left curtain, always at the level of Eva's 
head, some white veils and patches, which receded extremely rapidly, 
and gave the impression as if a third person behind the curtain brought 
about these phenomena. 

Just as a white ball of this description, about the size of a child's 
head, was exposed again, I pressed the electric button for the magnesium 
light. Of the photographs taken, only the stereoscopic plate shows 
a positive result. Both the medium's hands, and especially the whole 
left forearm, are distinctly visible on it. The whole upper body is 
behind the right curtain, while at the left curtain, at the level of the 
medium's head, the remainder of the white mass is distinctly seen. 
There is no connection between this structure and the medium's right 
arm, which is about 14 inches below. 

The experiment must therefore be regarded as a successful one, for 
a portion of the receding structure was caught by the camera. The 
optical impression made upon the sitters coidd not be reproduced, 
since the withdrawal of this substance took a shorter time than the 
ignition of the flash-light. This experiment proves the extraordinary 
mobility of structures clearly separated from the medium's body. 
After the photograph the phenomena tailed off to such an extent that 
the sitting was closed. Final examination negative. 



108 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

Sitting of the 11th August 1911. 

Sitters. — Mme. Bisson and the author. 

Conditions as on the 8th August. IHumination by all the four lamps. 

Hardly was the white light switched off w^hen a groaning from Eva 
indicated the beginning of the phenomena. She herself opened the 
curtain from time to time, and exposed the products of her remarkable 
power to the red light. The same misty and veil-like substances were 
produced, mostly connected with her body, on the right and the left, 
on her chest and in her lap, on the shoulder or at her head. The high 
back of the chair served as a support. We saw on Eva's left a white 
mass, which was photographed by me. All three cameras gave the 
situation in successful photographs (Fig. 37), each camera in a different 
way, according to its position. On the stereoscopic picture the medium's 
body covers the material, which lies like a napkin over the high chair 
back. The camera for the 7 by 9| inches photographs gave a negative 
on which part of the mass is covered by the head and left upper arm, 
while the third photograph (3| by 4| inches) shows a long strip, hanging 
down the back of the chair as far as the seat, and crossed by the left 
arm. A corner of the material is bent forward on the inside, and where 
it is folded over the back it shows a hole. 

The observation as described is given by the author according to 
the actual facts, without any comment, and will probably create the 
impression among persons not familiar with this subject that we have 
here to deal with simple fraudulent manipulation of a white piece of 
materia] resembling a handkerchief. 

After the photograph was taken the sitting was continued. Out of 
the mobile fundamental substance a distinctly visible third hand of 
flat appearance formed in Eva's lap. On this occasion I also saw, at 
12 inches above her head, a fairly w3ll-formed hand. When the 
phenomenon repeated itself several times, and again appeared above 
her head, I again took a photograph, which is highly remarkable 
(Fig. 38). In the place of her right hand we see the flat hand observed 
several times, of which three fingers and the larger part of the back 
are visible. The three finger-shaped flat projections are unequal, and, 
as in the case of a hand photographed on the shoulder during a former 
sitting, they show depressions which apparently adapt themselves to 
the folds of the dress. The substance, therefore, seems in this case to 
be soft, yielding, and pulpy, and seems to adapt itself to its support by 
gravity, as showed by a magnification not here reproduced. The 
inaccuracy of the design is also characteristic, the second finger being 
obviously too long. The first and second fingers show the same foldings, 
probably due to a fold of the dress crossing them. If we wish to adopt 
the view that it was an artificial production, it could not have been 
a paper hand, since, on account of its lightness and consistency, it 
would not adapt itself to its support. The magnification neither shows 
the structure of textile fabrics nor that of leather, such as a glove. 
Textile fabrics of the same diameter would probably be too light and 
too little flexible to fit thus into the fold of the dress. We see, in the 
same photograph, above Eva's head, a remarkable four-cornered 




Fig. 39. First flashlight photograph by the author, 
16 August, 191 i. 




Fig. 40. Magnification of portion of Fig. 39. 



SITTINGS AT ST JEAN DE LUZ, 1911 109 

structure, with a shape of which the lower part is irregular. One may 
assume that the medium's right hand held above her head supports 
this substance. 

Whether the hand shape on the lap is to produce a deceptive 
appearance of Eva's right hand, in order to maintain the usual scheme 
of optical control, we can only guess. In this case we should have a 
genuine phenomenon with a fraudulent tendency — the image of the 
right hand of the medium being deceptively represented, in order that 
Eva's living hand should produce phenomena, and give us the impression 
as if it were the product of materialisation.^ 

After the second photograph the phenomena were continued. A 
strip of material, about 12 inches wide and 20 inches long, was thrown 
over to us out of the curtain, but withdrawn immediately. We also 
saw, coming from the left, a hand well developed in all detail, with a 
forearm and five fingers spread out (medium's hand ?), while both 
Eva's hands (one a pseudo-hand ?) lay visibly on her lap. This structure 
made a turning motion, remained visible for four or five seconds, and 
was then withdrawn. From the forearm depended a rather large piece 
of a veil-like substance. This same hand touched the back of my 
left hand, and pressed the tips of its fingers into my skin, so that I 
clearly felt the finger-nails (obviously Eva's hand). After this a very 
large hand, wrapped in a white cloth, became visible, its outline being 
visible through the cloth. This outline also produced strong touches 
on our heads when brought near to the curtain, ruffling the hair. 

The sitting then closed. The photograph leaves the question open 
whether one of the hands lying on her knee did not, in this phenomenon 
also, simply present the deceptive image of a hand, in which case the 
very material character of the final phenomena is explained as being 
due to the action of one of the medium's hands. 



Sittings of the 13th and 14th August. 
Negative. 

Sitting of the 16th August 1911. 

Present. — Mme. Bisson and the author. 

Conditions as on the 11th August. 

Immediately the red lights had been switched on — I had not even 
taken my seat — the veil-like strips and patches began to appear at 
various parts of the medium's body, on the right or left, on her breast, 
or in her lap. There were also sketchy hands on her lap, and on her 
head, and a white drapery over her face, of which I took a photograph 
(Fig. 39). On this we see a fairly large piece of material, rather too 
densely woven for a veil, which falls from the head to the middle of 
the chest, and entirely covers Eva's face. Narrowing towards the 
bottom, this oblong substance ends in a rectangular piece. The frag- 

^ Thie possibility of deception is already known from the sittings of Eusapia Paladino. 



110 PHENOMENA OF IVIATERIALISATION 

ment on the right has a hole in it, and gives the impression of a piece 
of Hnen dipped in viscous white paint. It seems to vary in density, 
and to be transparent in some places ; also to have a greater consist- 
ency at the irregular wavy rims than in the centre. The magnification 
(Fig. 40) shows a broad regular strip running down in parallel lines. 

During one of these experiments, while Mme. Bisson held both the 
medium's hands, I observed that a flat hand appeared on Eva's hair, 
and made distinct motions with all the five fingers. It seemed to lie 
on her head with the fingers pointing forwards, and became imme- 
diately visible when Eva bent forward. She did not accede to my 
wish to touch the product. 

On the appearance of a veiled female face, which could not be 
immediately recognised as Eva's face, in the opening of the curtains, 
the author took a second photograph (Figs. 41 and 42), in order to clear 
up the matter. The sitting was then closed, and the final examination 
was negative. 

The second photograph reproduces the medium holding the curtain 
at the instant when she rises from her chair, and bends forward her 
head, which is covered with a white cloth. The cloth has p distinct 
longitudinal stripe, and is laid across Eva's head from the left to the 
right shoulder. We still see a small portion of the chin and a bit of 
the nose. The cloth covers the whole head and leaves a triangular 
opening. There is a small hole about the region of the nose. A critic 
would at once have the impression that Eva had put a handkerchief 
over her head, and, indeed, the picture gives this superficial impression, 
but, as we see on further inspection, especially of the stereoscopic plate, 
there is below the three-cornered aperture, and low down on the 
neck, an irregular ring-shaped piece of substance, from which a broad, 
voluminous round stalk, with a longitudinal stripe emerges, like the 
stalk of a mushroom. This is continued under the cloth in an upward 
and right-hand direction (Eva's hair ?). Where the stalk touches it 
the cloth shows a clear impression outward. This dark grey structure 
cannot be explained by the photograph. 

In this sitting also the medium was obviously anxious to mask 
herself with her teleplastie productions. 

Sitting of the 20th August 1911. 

No result. Eva, on the first day of her indisposition, was in a very 
unfavourable mood. In the somnambulic state she became violent, 
and did not want to give any more sittings, but to go home. Her 
nervous irritability rendered her treatment difficult. 

Sitting of the 21st August. 

Sitters. — Mme. Bisson and the author 

Conditions as usual. Second day of menses. 

A patch about the size of a fist appeared immediately at the begin- 
ning of the sitting, in the medium's lap, and changed into a broad band 





^IG. 41. Author's second flashlight 

PHOTOGRAPH, 16 AUGUST, IQII. 



IG. 4^. I'lXLARGEMENT FROM FiG. 4I. 




Fig. 43. First flashlight photograph by the author, 21 August, 1911. 




Fig. 44. Magnification of cart of Fig. 4J. 




Fig. 45. Author's second flashlight photograph, 21 August, 1911. 



SITTINGS AT ST JEAN DE LUZ, 1911 111 

joining one hand to the other. Then followed the usual changes of 
position of the substance from one part of the body to the other, and 
the automatic changes of shape, while the medium's hands were 
controlled. Eva's hands were held by Mme. Bisson and by me, and 
her right foot was placed against mine, or laid on my knee, while 
Mme. Bisson controlled her left foot. Her hands grasped the curtains, 
and the head was visible from time to time. Under these conditions 
she attempted to fulfil my oft -repeated wish that the material should 
be placed in my hand. Again and again there appeared in the light 
a long fragment of the fabric, apparently in direct connection with her 
body, and directed by the motion of the body. Evidently somewhat 
nervous during this experiment, the medium asked that Mme. Bisson 
should join her left hand to my left hand. Mme. Bisson accomplished 
this by touching my hand from below with her open fingers. The two 
hands thus joined we first held higher than the hands of the medium, 
and then about 10 inches lower. In this situation the end of a long 
piece of fabric was repeatedly placed in the palm of my left hand, 
though at first it was always withdrawn again very quickly. At last, 
after six or eight attempts, the fragment remained so long that I had 
ample time for a photograph. This photograph (Figs. 43 and 44) 
gives an accurate view of the situation, and it succeeded with all the 
three cameras. The strip, which finally remained in position for six 
seconds, started from Eva's mouth, as shown by the stereoscopic trans- 
parency, and ended in my hand. 

It was partly transparent and flexible, like rubber. The substance 
lying in my hand seemed to me heavy in comparison to its size, and 
comparable to a heavy organic substance (mesentery ?). It Avas moist, 
cool, and viscous, and gave the impression of a long, irregular, fibrous 
strip of skin, of definite design and consistency. 

I may mention that during this occurrence my extended hand was 
touched both from below (on its back) and from above. The mechanical 
co-operation of the medium in this must be excluded, on account of 
the conditions. 

This experiment realises a long-desired result. I was intentionally 
passive, for any grasping or pulling or closing of the hand might have 
resulted in a fit, and ended the experiment. 

After this, hands in various shapes appeared, some of them with 
sleeves, veils, and forearms. On one occasion I could observe a flat 
hand with long pointed fingers, which descended in front of her face. 

Although the room was filled with magnesium vapour, a second 
photograph (Fig. 45) was taken, which is perhaps the most interesting 
of all those taken at St Jean de Luz. On the cleaned and enlarged 
plate we see both the medium's hands holding the curtains, and her 
head stretched through the opening. The curtains touched the face, 
so that the projecting part of the latter, and the piece of material 
issuing from the mouth and held by it, are outside the curtain. The 
larger and more compact piece has two rectangular terminals of different 
breadth. From the inner edge of the left-hand piece a thin thread 
falls down to the back of Eva's left hand. The third joint of the middle 
finger of the left hand is covered by a patchy amorphous material, 
which seems to coalesce with it. 



112 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

The piece of material held in the mouth shows a pattern of parallel 
stripes. Three broad flat stripes and two quite short ones run from 
Eva's left cheek to the lower edge of her chin on the external surface 
of the fabric, suggesting the initial process of the formation of fingers. 
These lie partly in the fabric itself, since the cross-hatched pattern is 
visible at the same time. 

Perhaps even more remarkable than the structure itself is the 
radiation phenomenon visible in the picture. The materialised products, 
as well as the parts of the medium's skin lying in front of the curtain, 
emit rays in three directions, which cross the folds of the curtain. The 
origins of these rays correspond exactly with the parts named. Neither 
photographers nor ph^^sicists could explain this remarkable phenomenon 
satisfactorily, although it was natural to bring the magnesium smoke 
filling the room into question. The author simply mentions the fact 
as shown by the plate, though it is possible that a simple physical 
solution may be subsequently found. 

Towards the close of the sitting veiled heads appeared in the gap 
of the curtain, though it was impossible to decide whether they were 
Eva's head or independent formations. No accurate observation was 
possible. 

Sitting closed after a duration of two hours. Final examination 
without result. 



Sitting of the 23rd August 1911. 

Sitters. — Mme. Bisson and the author. 

Conditions as in previous sittings. 

This day Eva showed a cheerful disposition. Hardly had the trance 
condition set in — I hardly had time to open the cameras — when the 
phenomena began, with the appearance of a long strip passing from 
the chin, over the knees, to the floor. 

After the well-known movement of the substance, a veiled head 
appeared again, which we immediately recognised as Eva's head. 

Our efforts on this occasion were directed towards prevailing upon 
Eva to place a piece of material in the porcelain dish used on previous 
occasions. Mme. Bisson made several suggestions in this direction, 
and held the dish before my eyes, against the gap in the curtains. 
Eva's hands grasped the curtain. While the hands and arms were 
motionless I observed that, after several attempts, a long filmy strip 
slid forward with a creeping motion over the medium's left forearm 
(coming from her mouth ?), and inserted a tentacle resembling a living 
member into the porcelain dish. This substance was withdrawn with 
a sharp jerk. This was repeated three or four times. At the third 
attempt the material completely filled the dish, flowing together in 
spirals as if by its own weight. 

After the tentacle had been withdrawn, we were requested to see 
what was in the box. On close examination we found on the bottom 
of the porcelain dish, 3 or 4 cubic cm. of a transparent viscid 
liquid (without air bubbles). I preserved this secretion in order to 



SITTINGS AT ST JEAN DE LUZ, 1911 113 

have it examined on the following day in a pharmaceutical laboratory 
at Bayonne. 

During the experiment itself Eva's head was bent to the left, and 
did not come near the dish. 

A loud noise in the water supply waked the medium, and the 
sitting came to an end. 

Final examination negative. 

The analysis of the liquid gave the following result : — Colour, none ; 
appearance, slightly turbid ; consistency, liquid, not viscous ; smell, 
none ; precipitate, whitish ; reaction, slightly alkaline. 

Microscopic examination : — Numerous plate epithelia, some saliva 
granules, some fat grains, numerous epithelium granulations, and a 
large number of meat particles. The liquid also contained traces of 
potassium sulpho-cyanide. The dried residue was 8*6 grammes per 
litre. Ashes, 3 grammes. 

Conclusion. — The microscopical and chemical character of the 
liquid shows that we have to deal with cell detritus and saliva. The 
remnants of food also indicate the mouth as the origin. One cannot 
decide from the examination whether the organic remains are derived 
from the material, or simply from the epithelium of the mouth and the 
salivary glands. 



Sittings of the 24th and 25th August. 
In presence of Professor B,, a German scientist. Negative. 

Sitting of the 26th August 1911. 

Sitters. — Mme. Bisson, Professor B., and the author. 
Duration, 9 to 11.15. Conditions as in the other sittings. 

Professor B. examined Eva's dress, the body surface, including 
mouth, hair, and arm-pits, as well as the cabinet, and declared, before 
the sitting commenced, that he had found nothing which could be used 
for the artificial production of the phenomena. 

The hypnotisation of the medium was watched by Professor B. 
from beginning to end. 

Very soon, hardly a minute after the beginning of the sitting, a 
large reddish patch became visible on Eva's breast. While her hands 
held the curtain, the substance appeared in her lap, the size of a hand. 
It grew and assumed a triangular shape, and then diminished and 
disappeared before our eyes. This patch was joined to the head by a 
band which moved with the motion of her head. Mme. Bisson then 
entered the cabinet in order to sew up a seam which had given way in 
the medium's tights. From this moment till the end of the sitting 
Professor B. and the author held the medium's hands, while her feet 
rested on the knees of these two observers. 

Under these conditions we first saw a broad strip coming from her 



114 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

mouth and reaching down to her knees. This irregular strip, grey 
and partly transparent, emerged from the left side of the curtain under 
the hand held by Professor B. (length about 6 inches and width about 
I inch) and disappeared from our view, after Professor B. had been 
several times touched on his right hand from below. 

The material reappeared from the left over Eva's arm, and its end 
was laid on the open right hand of Professor B. as he brought it near 
the curtains, while Eva held his wrist. It gave him the impression of 
a mass of soft dough tapering towards the top. The whole occurrence 
lasted three to five seconds. As Professor B. was slowly withdrawing 
his arm from the gap of the curtain, the substance was suddenly with- 
drawn and di .appeared. 

Professor B. had the impression that the object touched by him 
was moist, cool, and comparatively heavy, as if a reptile had sat on his 
hand. After this experiment, Professor B. was asked to feel behind 
the curtain with his right hand, held by the medium at the level of 
Eva's visible head. He then, at a distance of 10 to 12 inches from her 
head, touched something which felt like a broad vertical band, indepen- 
dent of the medium's body. This contact also reminded him of a 
reptile with a cold moist skin. 

In repeating the same experiment, the author had the impression 
of touching a moist, cool, firm, and fibrous fabric. After this, the 
same ribbon gave a blow on his face from the closed curtain, and a third 
hand emerged for an instant from the curtain. 

When Eva then opened the curtains, her head was covered with 
a white cloth hanging down over her neck, which quite corresponded 
with the photograph taken on the previous occasion. 

She then turned her head to the left. As I sat on her right, I could 
observe that this cloth was slowly drawn away from her head on one 
side, so that her face became gradually visible. As already mentioned, 
the hands were held by Professor B. and myself during these phenomena. 

The sitting closed. Final control negative. Professor B. was the 
first to enter the cabinet. The medium, still in a somnambulic state, 
allowed herself to be examined by the author (including a gynaecological 
examination). 



COMMUNICATION OF PROFESSOR B. 

CONCERNING HIS OBSERVATIONS. 

The author engaged in a correspondence with his friend. Professor B., 
who had been present at some sittings, but who, as a non-medical man, 
is unfamiliar with the medical and psychological aspects of the investi- 
gation. The following points are culled from his impressions thus 
communicated : — 

" 1. There was certainly no other person in Eva's cabinet, nor 
could any one have entered it without detection. This excludes all 
attempts at explanation based on the assumption of a confederate. 



COMMUNICATION OF PROFESSOR B. 115 

2. I satisfied myself, by searching the cabinet and chair before 
itting, 
afterwards. 



the sitting, that nothing was hidden there which could have been used 



" 3. My search of the medium convinced me that she had no fabrics, 
veils, etc., or anything that one could feel about the exterior of her 
body. Even if she had,' I do not see how she could have produced 
them, so long as she was sewn up (but I emphasise the fact that the 
seam once parted and was renewed during the sitting). 

"4. As regards the nature of the materials which I have seen, I 
repeat that, to the touch, it gives the impression of a moist organic 
substance. But that is only my personal impression. 

" In these circumstances, which dispose of quite a number of explana- 
tions suggested, I must, in accordance with my way of thinking, ask 
myself the question : How can these phenomena be artificially produced 
under the given conditions ? " 

Professor B. then suggests the possibility that the medium secretes 
a particularly consistent mucus, uses it in some way to form the shapes 
seen, and finally swallows it. 

This suggestion need not be discussed in this place, more especially 
as it is ruled out by subsequent observations. 



Further Observations in St Jean de Luz, 
September ipii. 

Sitting of the 11th September 1911. 

The photograph (Fig. 46), taken on the 11th September in the author's 
absence by M. Bourdet, shows the medium with her hands held by 
Mme. Bisson and M. Bourdet. Eva's head is completely covered by 
a white disk-shaped structure which, after intensifying the negative, 
shows the drawing of a male head, with its front portion cut off by the 
curtain. In its design, the picture corresponds completely to the male 
face subsequently photographed by the author on the 5th November 
1911, in Paris. In the photograph of the 11th September, it looks 
rather flat, like a drawing, whereas in the picture of the 5th November 
it looks plastic and mask-like. Since the design of the hairy portions, 
of the eyes and the whole face, shows no difference from the picture of 
the 5th November, the reader may refer to the detailed description 
given in the discussion of the sitting of the 5th November. 

Sittings of the 10th and 11th September 1911, 

The following report is taken from a letter of Mme. Bisson, of 
12th September 1911, from St Jean de Luz : — 

" On the 10th September Eva proposed that we should try to 
produce phenomena alone, as she felt so strange. Although we had 



116 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

arranged for a sitting on the 11th, I hypnotised her at 8.45 p.m. Imme- 
diately after hypnosis the characteristic breathing began, and a curious 
materialised form appeared on the medium's left shoulder, even before 
I had closed the curtains. I sat down in front of the cabinet. 

" The material then detached itself from Eva's shoulder, and a 
white patch moved over the dark background of the cabinet. I held 
Eva's hands all the time. 

" Eva then opened the curtains very wide, and I beheld at the back 
of the cabinet, about 20 inches from Eva's head, a sort of face which 
seemed to look at me, although it was not possible to recognise any 
detail. I counted altogether seventy seconds without the apparition 
making any movement. Eva's hands were always in mine. 

" Obviously attracted by the phenomenon, Eva extended her arm 
(still holding my hand) towards the disappearing apparition, screamed, 
and fainted away. Afterwards she told me that the materialisation, 
injured by the strong incident light, had suddenly retired to her body, 
making her so ill that she lost consciousness. I then closed the curtain, 
still holding Eva's hands, and allowed her to recover a little. 

" Quite gradually she opened the curtains again, and again I saw 
a head at the back of the cabinet beside that of Eva. For nineteen 
seconds this apparition remained motionless. Then it decreased and 
gradually disappeared. 

" Suddenly Eva requested me to undo the seams. She removed 
the clothes and sat naked in front of me. Then followed a series of 
remarkable phenomena. 

" A large, flat, dark-grey patch appeared on her breast, white at 
the rims. It remained for some time, and then disappeared in the 
region of the navel. I clearly saw it being reabsorbed there. 

" The curtains were then kept closed for several seconds, without 
my releasing her hands. A round patch again appeared on her skin 
at the opening of the curtains. It had the same kind of shape as the 
first, but was larger. To this was joined, in the left ovarial region, a 
large, black, ball-shaped structure, white in the middle and dark grey 
at the rims. With the curtain open, I counted twenty-two seconds. 
Suddenly the material folded itself together at right angles to the axis 
of her body, and formed a broad band extending from hip to hip under 
the navel. This apparition then folded up and disappeared in the 
vagina. 

" On my expressing a wish, the medium parted her thighs and I 
saw that the material assumed a curious shape, resembling an orchid, 
decreased slowly, and entered the vagina. During the whole process 
I held her hands. Eva then said, ' Wait, we will try to facilitate the 
passage.' She rose, mounted on the chair, and sat down on one of the 
arm-rests, her feet touching the seat. Before my eyes, and with the 
curtain open, a large spherical mass, about 8 inches in diameter, emerged 
from the vagina and quickly placed itself on her left thigh while she 
crossed her legs. I distinctly recognised in the mass a still unfinished 
face, whose eyes looked at me. As I bent forward in order to see better, 
this head-like structure rose before my eyes, and suddenly vanished 
into the dark of the cabinet away from the medium, disappearing from 
my view. Again the medium fainted. 




Fig. 46. Flashlight photograph by the author, 
II September, 1911. 




Fig. 47. Flashlight photograph by the author, i November. 1911. 



OBSERVATIONS IN ST JEAN DE LUZ, SEPTEMBER 1911 117 

" When Eva, in her armchair, had recovered her somnambuhc 
consciousness, I saw, eight times in succession, a head covered with 
veils, which was quite detached from the medium. The phenomena 
then ceased, and I closed the sitting at 10 p.m. 

" In spite of these exhausting results, Eva, at a sitting on 11th Sep- 
tember, at which the physician, Dr B., and the author, Bourdet, and 
his wife were present, again produced, soms twenty times in succession, 
a matsrialised head, with a distinct forehead and grey and white veil- 
ings ; then a wonderfully-shaped profile drawn upon ths material as 
a base. Beard and hair were also represented in the material. I had 
the impression that this profile resembled a deceased near relative of 
mine, but I do not wish to assert anything — I only believe that I saw 
it. The sitting closed at 11 p.m." 

Sitting of the 26th September 1911. 

In a letter from St Jean de Luz (September 1911), Mme. Bisson 
communicates the following result :— - 

" The day before yesterday (26th Septembei 1911) I hypnotised Eva 
while she sat naked in the cabinet. As she had said she felt numbed, 
I had decided to have a sitting alone with her. She had hardly entered 
the trance when the phenomena appeared in great number. This 
time they began in her neck and at the top of her head. A face was 
quickly formed, and supported on Eva's head. When I noticed the 
strength of the phenomena, I asked the medium to concentrate her 
whole power upon my being able to obtain a piece of the material. 
This was refused, on the ground that the connection of the material 
with Eva's body was too close, so that it would injure her. But I could 
try and take some hair from the materialised head. I then grasped 
the end of a piece, which hung down, with my left hand. During the 
first three attempts to detach a piece, Eva screamed. Only at the fourth 
attempt did I succeed in doing so. I immediately switched on the white 
light, and was considerably astonished to hold in my hand a lock of 
fair hair, which did not in any way resemble Eva's darker hair. My 
hand was covered with mucus and moisture. Understand clearly — I 
thought I tore off a piece of material, and I had a bundle of hair in my 
hand. During this whole process Eva held my hands by the wrists, 
in order to be able to withdraw them if I hurt her too much. If this 
remarkable occurrence had not happened to myself under extraordinary 
conditions, in a red light, with a naked medium, in my own house, 
and in a cabinet constructed by myself, I should never have credited 
the reality of such an unheard-of phenomenon. I sit for hours and 
think over it, without finding the least explanation." 



Sittings of October and November 19 ii (Paris). 

On 25th, 27th, 29th and 30th October negative sittings. 

Eva was indisposed, suffered from bladder troubles, and the menses 



118 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

were retarded by nine days. After the negative sitting of 30th October 
she Vent to bed while still in the hypnotic condition. Mme. Bisson 
followed her. Suddenly the medium, already in bed, began to breathe 
stertorously, and requested Mme. Bisson to remove the bedclothes 
and control her abdomen. Favoured by the light still coming through 
the window, Mme. Bisson was able to verify the recurrence of the 
materialisation process, the phenomena this time emerging from the 
genital passage. She carefully lighted up in order to observe better, 
and saw a digital excrescence between the labia majora, parallel to the 
thighs at first, and afterwards crosswise. Every time the light fell 
upon this product, Eva reacted violently and painfully against it. 

On the morning of the 31st the menses had set in, the retardation 
of which appeared to have been the cause of the stoppage of the 
phenomena. 

On 31st October Eva remained the whole day dazed and uninter- 
ested. In the evening, Mme. Bisson dressed her in the seance costume 
in order to hypnotise her in the cabinet. The author was not present. 
Hardly had the somnambulic condition set in, when Eva requested 
Mme. Bisson to loosen the seam joining the tights to the dress. In 
the red electric light, Mme. Bisson observed a material emerging from 
the navel, whose shape and movement resembled vaseline pressed out 
from a tube. The viscous substance emerged in a columnar form, 
and fell by its owti weight, spreading out and widening, and forming 
on the skin a hand without any detail. The colour of the material was 
grey, but gradually became brighter and whiter, Mme. Bisson closed 
the sitting, as she wished to preserve Eva's power for the next evening. 

Sitting of the 1st November 1911. 

Sitters. — Mme. Bisson and the author. 

Seance room and cabinet as during the last series of sittings held 
in this room. The large Gothic wardrobe, standing against the long 
windowless wall opposite the chimney-piece, had been removed from 
the room, so that now the room contained no objects or furniture not 
required for the sittings. (See Diagram 5.) 

With the space thus gained, the pendant, with four twenty-five 
candle-power electric lamps in ruby globes, was hung immediately in 
front of the cabinet. Two of the globes were contained in additional 
red glass cases, so that their light had to pass through a double red 
screen, while the others had only a single red-glass screen. This 
arrangement greatly increased the ilUimination of the room. As soon 
as the eye had got accustomed to the reduced light, every detail of the 
room was clearly visible, and large print and the face of a watch could 
be distinctly read. Since the light was above our heads, it fell from 
the right into the cabinet, on opening the curtains, so that the foreground 
of the cabinet was better illuminated than the background. 

The easy chair in the cabinet had been replaced by the chair used 
in St Jean de Luz, as the latter had a low back and a perforated seat. 
But in this chair also the various rods were either lacquered black or 
covered with black stufi. 



SITTINGS OF OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER 1911 (PARIS) 119 

The two tables in the room served for keeping the articles required 
for photography and the magnesium light. The flash-light apparatus 
(A) was ignited by means of the electric supply. The contact push 
and its cord, 14 feet long, was placed beside the author at the seat (a). 

Seance /?0o/77y ram A/oi/. >y// 







DiAGRABI V. 



Arrangement of the Cameras.— hmowg the author's five photographic 
cameras there were two stereoscopic cameras, one of which (II.) was 
mounted at a height of 45 inches, and at a distance of 10 feet from the 
cabinet, while the other was placed on a shelf fixed agamst the wall, 
6| feet above the floor and 7 feet in front of the cabinet. The two 



120 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION . 

stereoscopic cameras took pictures 3| by 5| inches. The largest 
camera (II.) took 7 by 9-| inches pictures, and stood fairly in the middle, 
in front of the cabinet, 10 feet away from the medium's chair, Avhile a 
smaller camera (HI.)? taking 3| by 4| inches, was focused on the 
gap in the curtain, and was intended to reproduce the phenomena 
in the foreground at the curtain itself. Finally, the author had set up 
a fifth apparatus (V.), 3| by 5-| inches, on a square wooden support, 
fastened to the wall of the front right-hand corner of the cabinet. This 
was intended for photographing objects occurring 20 to 80 inches in 
front of it. In this case, we must remember that only a small portion 
of the surface of the object could be taken, and that this would be in 
side view. 

Cameras IV. and V. had been specially constructed at the author's 
request for the sittings, since the lenses on the market are not 
designed for taking photographs in close proximity thereto. The five 
cameras were intended for the mutual confirmation of the negatives, 
and for the study of the objects taken from various points of view, 
from various distances, from different sides, and in different sizes, as 
well as simply and stereoscopically. 

As at St Jean de Luz, the medium was dressed in black tights and 
black dress, sewn together round the waist, and sewn up behind from 
the neck to the waist, and at the wrists, as before. 

Examination of medium and cabinet as in previous sittings. 
Hypnotisation of Eva by Mme. Bisson. Commencement of the sitting 
about 10 P.M. When the medium, x few minutes afterwards, opened 
the curtain with her hands, we perceived in her lap a bright pink 
phosphorescent mass the size of a hen's egg. It had a compact appear- 
ance, and had nothing cloudy or veil-like about it. The medium closed 
the curtain, and on opening it again shortly afterwards, the material 
appeared again as grey patches, or packets, the size of a hand, at her 
shoulders, in her lap, or at her chest. The hands were often withdrawn 
behind the curtains. 

Probably in consideration of the camera mounted upon the medium's 
right, and focused upon her head, the chief display took place in this 
and the following sittings on her right shoulder. It may be mentioned 
that the author had repeatedly asked for phenomena to be produced 
at this point, upon which the cameras w^ere focused, and this was 
actually done, for a materialisation on Eva's left shoulder would 
have been hidden by her head from the camera inside the cabinet. 
An object appearing further away from her body would have been 
beyond the field of the apparatus, and, even with different focusing, 
could probably not have been photographed at the same time as the 
medium. Our whole endeavour was concentrated upon regularly 
taking the medium and the materialisation together on the same 
plates. 

The product appearing on her right shoulder was not sufficiently 
clearly visible when the curtain was opened, since the pendant, hanging 
rather towards the right, illuminated chiefly the foregroujid of the 
cabinet, as already mentioned, and the background only on the medium's 
left. On account of this indistinctness, Eva allowed me to illuminate 
the structure by means of a red electric torch specially reduced by 




(X, > 





Fig. 49. 



Author's flashlight photograph, 
5 November, 1911. 



Fig. 51. Object shown in last Fig. 

simultaneously taken from withik 

the cabinet. 




Fig. 50. Portion of Fig. 49, magnified 



SITTINGS OF OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER 1911 (PARIS) 121 

means of transparent black stuff as soon as she opened the curtain, so 
that I could observe more distinctly v.hat occurred on the right side 
of her head. This was done very quickly, but about eight times in 
succession. I thus saw on Eva's right shoulder a white mass partly 
covering her head, and showing the indistinct profile of a face. The 
hair of the head-like structure seemed to be of a lighter colour than 
the medium's hair. The medium's face and the materialisation Avere 
turned away from each other, and gave the impression of a Janus 
head. 

At the next opening of the curtains I ignited the flash-light and 
obtained admirable photographs with three of the cameras. The 
shock produced by the flash had broken Eva's power. The structure 
had disappeared without leaving a trace. The sitting was closed, 
having lasted one hour. Strict examination followed. Dress was 
intact, but moistened by menstrual discharge, which tells against the 
possibility of concealing objects. Search of cabinet also negative. 
Eva went to bed in the somnambulic state. 

The photograph (Figs. 47 and 48) shows for the first time in three 
years' observation a clearly-marked, but imperfectly-modelled, male 
profile, in which the nose is wanting. The whole gives the impression 
of an unfinished sketch of a death-mask made with the help of a soft, 
white, pulpy substance. The small photograph, taken by the camera 
in the cabinet (Fig. 48, second picture), gives the complete outline 
drawing of a head. The line of the chin is covered by Eva's sleeve. 
That which, in the small photograph taken with the cabinet apparatus, 
looks like the neck of the head, is nothing but Eva's chin, as shown 
by comparison with the other photographs. In all the photographs 
the nose is wanting. In the photograph with the cabinet camera, 
and in the stereoscopic transparency, we see a black veil-like fabric 
falling over the forehead, left eye, and the region of the nose, so that two- 
thirds of the forehead and the whole nasal region are covered. The 
mouth is represented in rough modelling as a square hole, while the 
design of the lips is clearly perceptible. 

The left corner of the mouth is serrated. Where the hair would 
begin on the forehead there is a white piece of material forming a 
transition to the mass, which must be interpreted as hair, and which 
extends from the left ear down to the neck. It must be remarked 
that this curious grey, roughly-fibred material, covered with numerous 
small white shadows, gives on the photograph the impression of hair. 
Whether we have to deal with real hair cannot be decided from the 
photographs, neither by the positives, nor by the magnifications. It 
is doubtful whether any right half of the face is there to match the 
left profile. This whole structure, which has a distinct relief, may be 
compared v.ith an extremely rough sculptor's model in a white, soft- 
yielding material, the first attempt at a death-mask of a male face. 

As shown by this sitting, there is an imperfect attempt at forming 
the shape of a face out of the white fundamental substance. 

The production gives an immediate and convincing impression of 
an elementary natural product, as distinct from the impression which 
would be produced by the shape of a face mechanically prepared for 
fraudulent purposes. 



122 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 



Sitting of the 4th November. 

Negative. On this day Eva made an excursion to see some relatives. 
Her attention was possibly thereby deflected too strongly from her 
mediumistic activity. 



Sitting of the 5th November 1911. 

Sitters. — Mme. Bisson and the author. 

Conditions as before. All the cameras had been opened since the 
red light was established. A change in the suspension of the red lamps 
allowed of a better illumination of the cabinet. 

As soon as Eva had entered the hypnotic state, she asked, 
" Juliette, do you see anything ? " 

I had feared another negative sitting, since the more vivid accom- 
panying conditions (groaning and stertorous breathing) were absent 
this time. But hardly had Mme. Bisson directed her attention to the 
interior of the cabinet when a pink luminous mass of material fell from 
the roof of the cabinet, like a shooting star, into Eva's lap. It might 
have been the size of a child's hand. It immediately disappeared from 
the medium's dress. 

When the light again fell into the cabinet, its rays illuminated a 
long vertical strip, resembling veiling or muslin, standing about 4 feet 
away from the medium, and having a length of from 4-6 feet. The 
medium then worked the curtain in such a way that she again and 
again opened and closed it, obviously in order to avoid the destruction 
of the formation by a lengthy exposure to light. In this case we could 
observe the changes in the strip, standing by itself behind her on the 
left, at least ten to fifteen times, although not distinctly, on account 
of the distance and the half -shadow. The top of the strip seemed to 
be surmounted by a half-round shape resembling a head. This ghostly 
phenomenon showed no connection with the medium, who was sitting 
quietly in her chair, and whose hands, at the same time, were constantly 
visible at the curtain. Every time it exposed itself, hardly for longer 
than a second, to the light, and always returned into the dark. It 
looked as though the repetition of the process had for its object a gradual 
adaptation to the light. Sometimes it seemed as if the head portion 
were growing more distinct, and the strip growing longer. Gradually 
a freely-suspended form, with a long white train, approached the gap 
in the curtains, traversing a path of about 6 feet. Here I had the 
impression of seeing a masculine face, with its upper half finished, while 
the lower was covered with a fragmentary mass, and was not all 
developed. 

In spite of a repeated approach towards the curtains, the appearance 
of the face seemed to change. Once I thought I recognised a profile 
consisting of a mosaic of small white pieces, and of a stratified modelling. 



SITTINGS OF OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER 1911 (PARIS) 123 

resembling a sculptural form in the rough. The forehead and the 
hollows of the eyes were always easiest to recognise. 

Eva asked for the red electric torch already mentioned, and made 
some attempts at illumination behind the curtains, in the first instance 
talking in a low voice to the form standing beside her. I heard expres- 
sions like the following : — " Pourquoi ne veux-tu pas ? " " II faut 
s'habituer a la lumiere." Again opening the curtains (probably with 
her feet), Eva illuminated the structure with a torch. This time I 
could not, indeed, recognise a head, or anything resembling it, but in 
its place a white bunched-up cloth about the size of a man's handker- 
chief, and the long strip hanging down. She then returned the 
torch. 

Mme. Bisson, who wished to get a clear impression of the features, 
waited until the phenomenon was visible again, and approached the 
cabinet quite closely, put her head through the curtains, and claimed 
distinctly to recognise a masculine face with a full beard. The appari- 
tion then became visible in front of Eva's chest, whence it seemed to 
advance into the gap of the curtains. In one of these attempts I 
succeeded in observing quite closely a masculine face, with a pointed 
beard and closed eyes, between her hands, which held the cur- 
tains. The perception was so distinct that an optical illusion is 
out of the question. In consideration of the position of the 
camera, we expressed a wish to see the phenomenon to the right of 
the medium. 

At first we saw, still on the medium's left, just at the hem of the 
curtain, a white strip about 20 inches long, which became visible several 
times behind the hem and parallel to it, near the middle. Then a 
separate white mass, not quite the size of a hand, showed itself round 
the hem of the curtain outside, remaining visible for about twenty 
seconds, and then disappeared. 

At the next exposure, I just saw that her right shoulder was covered 
with the white luminous mass, and I quickly ignited the flash-light. 

The phenomenon disappeared at once. When Eva had been care- 
fully examined by me, with a negative result, she was taken to bed in 
a dazed condition. A final examination of the cabinet gave no result. 

During the whole sitting Mme. Bisson only entered the cabinet twice, 
the first time being after the phenomenon in the corner had become 
visible several times. 

As the successful negatives show (Figs. 49, 50, 51), Eva has her head 
bent forward to the left at the moment of exposure. Her whole profile and 
her hair are seen as far as the right temple. The hands keep the curtain 
open. A mask-like form is tilted over her hair. A white and partly- 
transparent fabric hangs from the hairy portion of the mask over her 
right upper arm, and disappears behind the curtain. Tapering towards 
the hair of the medium, the upper half of the veil is covered by a broad 
crosswise portion, but the object of this is not clear from the picture. 
The whole fabric is some 4-6 inches away from the chin and neck of 
the medium, and only touches Eva's body again on her upper arm. 
The medium's head, with the apparition, appears to be some 4-6 inches 
away from the back of the chair, against which she only appears to 
lean her left shoulder. One also sees behind the face profile a white 



124 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

flat mass, about the size of a hand, with an irregular-pointed margin 
hanging over the back of the chair. 

We now come to the mask itself. We see, at the first glance, that 
it is intended to represent a male head, although in an extremely rough 
and imperfect form. The line of the profile is so clearly marked on the 
stereoscopic transparency that it gives the impression as if the mask- 
like form were cut off, and had no right half to its face. The left visible 
portion is clearlj^ modelled in relief. The portion representing the nose 
is much too long, and too much curved and distorted, and reminds one 
of the nose of Cyrano de Bergerac. The hairy portions — beard and 
hair of the head — are distinctly seen in the right proportion as dark 
patches adjoining the face. Instead of the lines of the mouth there is 
a lip depression in the profile covered by a moustache, with hair which 
appears to be very short and rough, as well as curly, like fur. While 
the beard, on all the plates taken from in front of the cabinet, is obscured 
by the veil in its lower portion, it is seen in the photograph taken from 
within the cabinet to continue into a broad " imperial " beard, and 
the straight line of the lower chin becomes visible. On this plate the 
point of the nose appears to be cut off, which is explained by the lateral 
mounting of the camera. The modelling of the strongly-flattened and 
receding forehead is not completed on the picture. One cannot escape 
the impression that the unknown sculptor had left his work unfinished, 
or had been interrupted in his work by the flash-light. In this case 
the rest of the material available would naturally remain lying on the 
back of the chair. The position of the closed eye is indicated in an 
approximately correct place by a broad black shadow, which is slightly 
too long. The line of the eyebrows looks like a similarly sketched 
second eye, and is much too high, though the beginning of the hair is 
in its right place. 

The hair itself is distinctly shown as a dark grey rough mass at the 
corner of the forehead. In the middle of the head there lies a small 
irregularly-shaped piece of white material. The ear is absent. In its 
place we see a few broad rough strips and irregular projections in 
relief, as well as parallel clefts, which had already occurred in the 
earliest representations of heads, and which recur, together with folds, 
in nearly all head forms. 

Perhaps the reader will not prevail upon himself to recognise a 
masculine face-mask in this very clumsy, irregular, and imperfect form. 
That its left side is evolved in relief, i.e., plastically, is placed beyond 
all doubt by an inspection of the transparency, but the mask appears 
to be hollow, and nothing in it bears the marks of life. 



Sittings of the 7th, 9th and 11th November. 

Negative. 

A friend of the medium's family had come to Paris during these 
days, and daily claimed Eva's company. Such invitations appeared 
to absorb the medium's attention so completely that one could count 
upon negative results. 



SITTINGS OF OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER 1911 (PARIS) 125 

Sitting of the 12th November 1911. 

Sitters. — Mme. Bisson and the author. 

Time, 9 p.m. Control and ilhimination as before. 

A few minutes after the beginning of the sitting a semicircular 
fiat mass, the size of a man's hand, appeared on the medium's lap, between 
her hands, which rested with fingers spread out on her knees. The 
fingers themselves appeared to be joined by a fine web-like membrane 
of a grey and veil-like appearance, which filled up the intervals between 
the fingers of both hands. Where this web touched the skin there was 
a shadow. It is, therefore, also possible that this fabric was only 
covered by her fingers, and only gave the optical impression of such 
a junction. 

While Eva was thus passively allowing the materialisation process 
to take place, an electric bell suddenly rang in the next room, the signal 
for the sick nurse of the master of the house. Eva took fright, and 
the material observed immediately disappeared. 

The creative process, which requires the undisturbed passivity of 
the somnambulist, was interrupted. Only after a pause for rest did 
the mass become visible again, in the form of more or less large irregular 
patches, at the shoulder and in the medium's lap. 

Next, a compact mass formed on the right beside her head, which 
again resembled an imperfect human profile. Then a long white veil 
appeared above her head, while she opened the curtains with her 
hands, and this veil disappeared behind her head. The uppermost 
point of the veil was about 20 inches above her head. Then the white 
veil rested on her head, covering it like a nun's head-dress. 

White patches and fragments were seen disseminated over her 
body, but the mediumistic force did not seem to suffice for real forma- 
tions, or further transformations. Even these feeble phenomena 
disappeared after about half an hour. Eva declared herself unable to 
continue the sitting. She appeared to have been waked from the 
trance condition and disturbed in her work by the ringing of the bell. 
Perhaps she was still under the influence of the visit above mentioned. 
These feeble and diffused phenomena can only be regarded as the 
result of an unfavourable psychic tuning. 

The final examination gave a negative result. 



Negative. 



Sitting of the 14th November 1911. 



Sitting of the 16th November 1911. 



Sitters. — Mme. Bisson and the author. 

Control and illumination as before. 

The phenomena of the sitting about to be described were obtained 
without the participation of the medium's hands. For the latter were 



126 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

either steadily visible on her knees, or they grasped the two curtains 
in order to close them or open them, and only seldom were they with- 
drawn from observation. Often the hands were seen resting in the 
shadow of the curtain when we unexpectedly looked behind the curtain. 
I repeatedly assured myself, by a turn of the head and a withdrawal of 
the curtain, as to the inactivity of the hands during the sitting. The 
medium's head was visible as soon as the curtain was sufficiently opened. 
Sometimes she did this with her feet, which was easy, since, as a rule, 
she does not wear slippers during the sittings. In some cases one even 
had the impression that while the feet were at rest the curtains were 
opened or closed by an invisible power. 

The medium's head, lying on the back of the chair, only became 
visible when the curtain was sufficiently widely opened to enable the 
light to shine upon it, or when the medium herself changed her position 
in order to bring the head into the light. 

A few minutes after the commencement of the sitting (9 p.m.) a 
vertical white strip about a yard long appeared on the left, beside the 
medium in the corner of the cabinet, i.e., about 30 inches from her left 
shoulder. It again looked veil-like, and appeared to be held and moved 
at a higher level than her head. The light falling slantingly into the 
cabinet enabled us to verify that this structure had no visible connection 
with her body, but appeared to be independent and quite separated 
from Eva. Its profile entered the illuminated portion of the cabinet 
again and again. At the upper end a mass was bunched together. 
The hidden power seemed to be at work, for we heard noises as if 
textile fabrics were being rubbed together, and we also saw lively 
motions in the veil-like matter. Eva left the curtain open for a fairly 
long time, so that the appearance stood the light longer than usual. 
As it approached the curtains we recognised the outlines of a large 
hand. Quite clearly we saw three middle fingers holding a veil, and 
retiring with a turning motion behind the curtain. 

The white shape did not disappear, but became visible again and 
again at the back of the left curtain beside Eva's left knee. Since my 
place on the opposite side permitted me to see behind the curtain, I 
saw in that place a broad, white, columnar mass, 16-20 inches long, 
and forked at the top and bottom. 

The curtain was closed and again opened. Now the right curtain 
covered both hands, which, however, could still be seen in the shadow. 
Starting from her body and crossing her left lower arm, in the illuminated 
portion of the cabinet, two strongly luminous strips about 2 inches wide 
and 8 inches long, and somewhat resembling the bones of a lower arm, 
became visible. These ended in prolongations, resembling indistinct 
fingers, or skeleton hands, which appeared to unravel an extremely 
fine and strongly luminous mass of threads, resembling a spider's web, 
on the medium's dress, this mass becoming apparently broader by the 
withdrawal of the left curtain. The optical impression of this play 
belongs to the most curious observations of this mediumistic period. 
On one side the inactivity of Eva's arms and hands, which at any 
moment could be verified by a glance into the half-opened cabinet ; 
on the other side — that is to say, to the left of the medium — these 
arm-like projections proceeding from Eva's body, which appeared to 



SITTINGS OF OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER 1911 (PARIS) 127 

unravel a tangle of innumerable luminous threads and transparent 
veils. This picture showed a constant motion, a visible working of the 
mysterious power. It is not conceivable that, with the help of any 
known technical appliances, such a performance could be brought 
about. 

The whole phenomena lasted from a minute to a minute and a half, 
a comparatively long time, until the interesting play was withdrawn 
from our gaze by the closing of the curtain. 

Eva then requested Mme. Bisson to enter the cabinet and hold 
her head. She reports that the white material was now again on Eva's 
left side, but separated from her body. Mme. Bisson touched it. 
While she was still in the cabinet, her left lower arm was completely 
enveloped in the delicate veiling. During this time I was able to 
observe that Eva's two arms did not stir from their place. Mme. Bisson 
then endeavoured to bring her arm slowly into the light, and she even- 
tually succeeded. On her left arm hung a fragment of material about 
8 inches long, which gave an impression similar to that photographed 
in St Jean de Luz, as it lay in my hand. 

The bringing forward of the material on the arm was evidently 
painful to Eva. She screamed, and at the same instant the whole 
mass disappeared into her mouth with a lapping and chewing motion, 
as Mme. Bisson in the cabinet could verify. 

After a short pause the plastic process appeared to recommence. 
Eva said she felt the development of the material about her abdomen. 
She quickly seized my hand and guided it to the region of the navel. 
To my great astonishment I felt through the thin stuff a small knot, 
the size of a cherry, on the left of the navel. Under my touch I felt the 
knob getting smaller until it disappeared, as if it had been flattened 
out or absorbed into the medium's body. 

The same process repeated itself under Mme. Bisson's hand at the 
medium's left breast. In order to show me the process, and without 
informing Eva, Mme. Bisson took my hand and led it to the place 
indicated. The medium, who obviously regarded this interference as 
a disturbance, screamed with fright, so that the experiment had to be 
discontinued without result. This nervous shock stopped the generating 
force immediately, so that, in spite of verbal suggestion and lengthy 
waiting, no more phenomena occurred. This unexpected interference 
also deprived us of the photograph we had hoped for. 

The sitting was closed with the ordinary examination of the medium 
and cabinet, without result. 

'^ This experience teaches us again that it is advisable to let such 
experiments be preceded by an understanding with the medium, and 
that any method which, without consideration of the medium's nervous 
condition, takes her by surprise, or proceeds by violence {e.g., the grasping 
of the structures, which has often been proposed by savants inex- 
perienced in this subject), totally misses its object in the case of the 
" genuine " medium, since the fountain of observations is dried up by 
the psychic shock which always results from such interferences.^ The 

* If it is a case of mediums who only operate in the dark, who refuse hodily examina- 
tion and other methods of control, and give serious grounds for suspicion of fraudulent 
manipulation, it is the duty of the experimenter to interfere without compunction. 



128 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

same negative result also occurs often enough when Eva agrees with 
the interference, or even undertakes it herself. In this connection I 
may mention an occurrence from a later sitting. Eva attempted to 
illuminate the materialised structures with a red lantern w^hich we 
handed her, but they disappeared, and did not reappear that evening. 
The flaring-up of the magnesium light also produces a sort of injury 
which, although expected and desired by her, always shortens the 
sitting, and often brings it to an end. 

On 17th November Eva was out of sorts, and we expected that the 
sitting arranged for the 18th would be negative. For this reason 
Mme. Bisson, who had had no opportunity of hypnotising Eva on the 
17th, went to the bedside of the sleeping medium at one o'clock at night, 
at the author's suggestion. By verbal suggestion she easily transformed 
the normal deep sleep into a state of hypnosis with rapport, as was 
clear from Eva's answers. Mme, Bisson made some verbal suggestions 
with regard to the sitting of the 18th, and as to her psychic attitude 
towards it. 

On the 18th itself Eva was constantly in the society of her pro- 
tectress, who, during the afternoon hours, was busy with sculptural 
work in her studio. By her conversation also, Mme. Bisson sought to 
stimulate Eva's interest for the sitting of that evening. This kind of 
psychic preparation was of astonishing success, as will be seen by the 
report of the evening sitting. 



Sitting of the 18th November 1911. 

Present. — Mme. Bisson and the author. 

Conditions as usual. 

The appearance of a white patch, very soon after the beginning of 
the sitting (9 p.m.) to the left of the medium, which appeared to change 
into a long, narrow, veil-like strip, implied the commencement of a 
positive sitting. Finally, the veil lengthened out to 7 or 8 feet, and 
approached the gap in the curtains, while the medium's hands were 
controlled, so that it was in the full light. 

As the phenomenon was repeated and more closely examined we 
saw a hand, which appeared to grasp the veil above and pull it along ; 
the lower end seemed to trail along the floor. Then Eva's body was 
covered with the material, particularly her face and shoulder. On one 
occasion I thought I recognised beside Eva a face in profile, which did 
not resemble the medium, and quickly disappeared. When, subse- 
quently, something white again appeared, clinging to Eva's hair, as 
the curtain was opened, I ignited the flash-light. The successful photo- 
graph (Fig. 52) does not show a head, but material, in the shape of two 
superimposed leaves, attached to the back of Eva's head, and corre- 
sponding in size to her face. The lower leaf is quite white, and resembles 
a handkerchief. Over this there lies a rather larger piece of grey stuff 
of a patchy and veil-like structure, with two deep parallel folds and 
several smaller folds. The ribbons appear torn, and^in two places have 
small thread-like projections resembling the fur of a rat or rabbit. 




Fig. 52. Author's first flashlight photograph, 18 November, igii. 




Fig. 53. Author's second flashlight photogkai'h, iS November, 1911. 



SITTINGS OF OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER 1911 (PARIS) 129 

A third of the substance appears light grey, and the rest dark grey, 
with a rough surface. 

With reference to later sittings, it may be mentioned here that these 
dark felt-like or fur-like substances play a great part in later photo- 
graphs, especially of modelled structures, and are mostly used for the 
representation of the hairy portions of faces and heads. It is only by 
the close examination and comparison of the stereoscopic transparencies 
with the simple photographs that this material is recognised, which now 
appears for the first time on the negative. 

As the sitting progressed, the author obtained a clearer and clearer 
impression that this material would form itself into a face. As the 
head-like structure approached the gap of the curtains, it gave quite 
a flat impression, not like a picture, but like a mask of a face, on which 
the features of a face were to be modelled by the sketchy insertion of 
small grey and white patches of somxC soft material. Thus, a black 
pointed beard was most clearly marked, while the features were only 
very roughly sketched. This remarkable thing moved freely, and drew 
a long white veil after it, which suddenly detached itself and fell to the 
ground, while the mask-like object disappeared backwards. When, 
on the medium's left side, an oblong white mass was again exposed, 
the author took another photograph (Fig, 53), after which the sitting 
had to be closed on account of Eva's fatigue. 

The final examination was negative. 

The second photograph shows an oblong, white, and rather thick 
piece of material issuing from the back of Eva's head, as if attached to 
her hair, falling over her left shoulder and upper sleeve, and disappearing 
in the dark of the cabinet. The material is closely folded. On its 
upper portion, at the level of Eva's head, it gives the impression of 
stiff crumpled paper with sharply-cut edges. 

On this there lies a piece of the grey, flat, rough-haired substance 
above described, which resembles below a masculine beard and 
moustache. At the place of the nose is a great dark patch. The part 
corresponding to the face is a dark grey colour. Where the hair join;^ 
the forehead the dark grey substance commences again. Over that 
again is a white cross-piece. The eyes are absent. The part corre- 
sponding to the right half of the face is bent outward. The whole 
consists of a flat sharp-rimmed structure, formed of two pieces of 
material, lying one over the other, the upper one having a dark 
colour. The shape recalls the process of formation of an incomplete 
mask. 

The comparison of the first picture of this sitting with the second 
suggests that the two kinds of material photographed and described 
are used for the reproduction of flat mask-like shapes of faces, the 
dark fur-like material being used for the hairy portions. 



Sitting of the 21st November 1911. 

The medium told us that she had waked in the night, or rather 
half-waked, and had seen a large white heap of material on her chest, 
which greatly frightened her, but she soon went to sleep again. 

I 



130 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

Sitting of the 22nd November 1911, 
Present. — Mme. Bisson and the author. 

This time Eva had a veiled look and did not feel well. Her hands 
were cold and her pulse accelerated. There was no preparatory 
hypnotism, as she seemed well disposed. Careful searching of her body 
and dress, and of the cabinet, gave no result. The cameras were fixed 
at a distance of 12 to 14 feet. The magnesium charge was 3j 
grammes. 

Immediately after the beginning of the sitting a white mass, the 
size of her two hands, appeared in her lap. In order to get a good 
result, and not to disturb the development by the light admitted by 
the repeated opening of the curtains, the author asked Eva only to open 
the curtain as soon as a shape was sufficiently developed. Thus, at the 
author's special wish, the curtains remained longer closed this time, 
in order to allow the materialisation process to ripen. 

The question of the artificial production, or the fraudulent manipu- 
lation, of the manifestations may be now regarded as settled, at least 
for Mme. Bisson and the author, especially in view of the remaining 
conditions governing the sittings. In any case, there is no occasion 
to refer to this question of control by a special verification as each new 
phenomenon arises. The interest of the highest possible advancement 
of the phenomenon is greater than the constant diversion of the medium's 
attention towards the control, as such control hinders the natural 
development of the phenomena and reduces the efficiency. The 
general course was the same as in previous sittings. To the left of the 
medium in the corner, at the first exposure, a white form was visible, 
resembling a pile of white stuff. This mass was about 5 or 6 feet from 
the curtain and 28 inches from Eva's face, and appeared about to 
assume a head-like form, but the curtain closed again. Eva whimpered 
and groaned, with deep and loud expirations, and appeared to suffer, 
and be profoundly troubled. Then we heard a rustling as if some silk 
material was being crumpled. When the curtain was again withdrawn, 
the incident light seemed to illuminate a female face, which shyly and 
slightly exposed itself to the light and approached us. The apparition 
was on the medium's left. At our request, Eva, who herself wished 
for a good photograph, caused the phenomenon to take up her position 
on the right side of her head, so that it could be taken simultaneously 
by the various cameras, and fall within their fields of vision. (Possibly 
she arranged it with her hands.) 

I then requested her to decide the moment for exposure herself, 
according to her own feeling, by opening the curtain widely. This was 
done. The author pressed the electric button, but the action failed. 
To discover the fault, I unscrewed the push, but Eva called out " C'est 
le contact." This meant the plug in the wall. I should not have had 
this idea, but should have looked for the fault in the attachment of the 
flexible cord of the ignition apparatus, in one of its screws, or in the 
hygroscopic character of the magnesium powder. But it was found 
that the plug had actually been put in the wrong way. 




Fig. 54. Author's flashlight photograph of 21 November, 1911. 

[Front view.) 



SITTINGS OF OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER 1911 (PARIS) 131 

When, after this interruption, the medium opened the curtains 
again, the flash-hght was ignited. After a short pause the sitting was 
continued. Then a head, apparently freely suspended, approached 
the opening of the curtains, and was clearly recognised by Mme. Bisson 
and myself. In size it resembled a child's head, which was clothed 
like that of a nun with a white veil. During these creations 
Mme. Bisson, as if moved by an unconscious impulse, suddenly seized 
Eva's left hand. At the same moment I saw the head, which was on 
the medium's left, sink to the ground with lightning speed and dis- 
appear, just as an object maintained in suspension by some electric 
attraction would fall immediately on breaking the circuit. The face 
itself gave me a sketchy and unfinished impression. 

When the little head showed itself again the author heard Eva 
speak at the same time. She wished that Mme. Bisson should cut a 
lock of hair off the head. As the apparition approached, Mme. Bisson 
took, with her right hand, a pair of scissors which I held out to her. 
Her left hand was guided by Eva's right hand towards the head 
situated at the rim of the curtain. Mme. Bisson then, under my eyes 
and while I could observe everything quite closely, took a lock of hair 
and cut off a length of about 4 inches. She at once gave half the hair 
to me, and I took charge of it. 

The materialised structure suddenly disappeared in the direction of 
the medium, accompanied by a scream from Eva. It seemed as if 
the substance dissolved and was reabsorbed by the medium's organism. 
A detailed examination showed that the tights had traces of moisture 
near the left calf to the extent of the size of a hand. The patch had no 
odour, and resembled the serous moistening of bandages over wounds. 
Otherwise the subsequent examination was negative. 

As the successful photographs show (Figs. 54, 55 and 56), Eva has 
widely opened the curtains with her right hand, so that her whole body 
is visible. Her face, bent towards the left and front, is painfully 
contracted. The centre of the materialised structure corresponds to 
the position of her right ear. In an artistic frame of white veils we 
see two-thirds of a pretty female face, appearing to be about half 
the size of Eva's. The forehead, left temple, and ear are covered 
by the veil, and the right eye and the right temple by hair hanging 
down. 

The stereoscopic picture leaves it doubtful whether the left upper 
half of the face is developed at all. The left eye, directed towards me 
and inwards, is as natural and vivacious in expression as it would aj^pear 
in a good photograph from life, and seems designed accordingly. With 
the help of masks, reproduced photographs, or ha'rdressers' models of 
heads, a similar result cannot, in the opinion of artists and other experts, 
be obtained. 

The excellent drawing of the face, the softness of the finely-modelled 
form of the small head, lightly inclining to the right, the shadows 
everywhere strictly corresponding to the direction of the incident 
light, increase the impression of natural truth. In spite of the smallness 
of the face, it corresponds more to the type of a young woman's than a 
child's face. The pretty mouth, with the dimples in its corners, the 
slender and regularly-built nose, the rounded and rather broadly 



132 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

developed chin, the well -nourished curve of the cheek, together with 
the vivacious expression of the eye, express a certain brightness and 
contentment which might correspond to an age of twenty to twenty- 
four years. 

The manner in which this small face presents itself in its frame of 
veiling makes an artistic impression, and even suggests a trace of 
coquetry and vanity. In any case, it argues a careful preparation of 
the toilet. The materials falling in natural lines are partly trans- 
parent, with flat solid pieces devoid of structure. The edges visible 
on the photograph run, as in almost all the other photographs, in very 
wavy or pointed lines, with irregular corners and hanging fragments 
and threads, but never in straight lines. A regular pattern, which 
might give an indication of the mode of weaving, cannot be seen either 
in the transparencies or in the magnifications. The side version of 
the picture by the camera inside the cabinet is also excellent. Here 
we see the small head more from in front, and the portion of the coiffure 
covering the left ear becomes visible. The rounded form of the face is 
more clearly marked. The shadows, again exactly corresponding to 
the incident light, especially to the left, on the chin, mouth, and nose, 
have here become a little brighter and softer. 

Yet the face, in spite of the completed details, does not give a 
finished impression. In the magnifications we see several fissures and 
patches {e.g., on the left cheek, in the corner of the mouth, and on the 
bridge of the nose) which resemble either pimples or a fine veil, 
folded and torn in some places. But these might also be due to 
fissures in the ground substance out of which these forms are made. 
Under the veil covering the forehead we see the regularly folded 
white material used as a base for covering the right side of the 
forehead. 

The whole picture, in its expression, in the position of the head, in 
its drapery, and in the manner in which the veils are arranged and fall, 
makes such a natural, elemental, and harmonious impression, in spite 
of its incompleteness and sketchiness, as would be astonishing in an 
instantaneous creation of nature. 

The back of the head is wanting. We have before us only a flat, 
one-sided development of facial relief, which lies flat against Eva's 
right ear, and even appears fixed above against the hair by a small 
projection. 

Owing to the fact that the longer piece of material on the right lies 
with its outer edge on Eva's right shoulder, and so is prevented from 
covering the right half of the face, a hole is created between the right 
half of the face and the veil arrangement — a sort, of cave, which is clearly 
seen in the stereoscopic transparency. The unfinished surface, which 
would correspond to the other half of the face, is covered by something 
black, which looks like hair hanging down, and cannot, in any case, 
be regarded as developed. There are important arguments against a 
possible doubt that this remarkable face is in reality plastic, i.e., deve- 
loped in low relief, rather than in one flat piece, with a face dra^vn or 
photographed upon it. The fall of the shadows corresponds exactly 
with the direction of the incident magnesium light. A difference 
between these shadows in the front view picture produced by the 




Fig. 56. Lateral view, with magnification, of Fig. 54, taken from the cabinet 




I A 




! ■ ■ ■■ "» yi 




II A 




I B 




II B 
Fig. 57. MiCROPHOTOGRAPHS OF Eva's hair (ii) and "Estelle's" hair (i). 



SITTINGS OF OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER 1911 (PARIS) 133 

camera in the cabinet and the profile picture of the external camera 
would be impossible in the case of a photograph previously illuminated, 
or in the case of a product of lithography or graphic art, also provided 
with shadows before exposure. Although this would suffice to decide 
the question, I arranged for the careful measurement of the different 
stereoscopic pictures magnified to 6 feet. The distance between the 
two cameras brings about certain changes in size and in the design of 
the chief features on the negatives, and these sizes were correctly 
measured, with special reference to the nose projection. The difference 
amounts to 1| mm., which is easily understood, considering the 
smallness of the objects measured, and this again gives a further proof 
of the plastic relief of the face. Also, the high light on the eye corre- 
sponds with the incident light, and argues a convex form of the eyeball, 
which increases the living impression. 

The hair obtained at the same sitting is evidently derived from the 
strands of hair seen hanging on the right half of the face down to the 
neck. After the sitting I cut a lock of hair from the medium, with her 
permission, so as to get material for comparison. While Eva's hair 
showed altogether a brunette character, the hair taken from the small 
head was light blonde. This impression is completely corroborated by 
the chemical examination and microphotography of the samples of 
hair of Eva and " Estelle " (the name by which the medium denotes 
the face photographed), which was made by Dr Steiner in Munich. 

In the samples of hair, the expert says that the marrow cylinder is 
absent, so that it must be regarded as hair of the head. That we have 
to deal with human hair is shown by the microphotograph of the hair 
in air (magnified 440 times). The epidermis (Fig. 57) is furrowed 
crossways over the whole width in a manner characteristic of human 
hair only. The microphotographs of the two hair samples, in glycerined 
gelatine, bring out the difference between the two samples as much 
as the microphotograph in air. While Estelle' s hair only shows 
slight pigmentation, Eva's hair is distinctly provided with granular 
pigment. Seen in polarised light, both samples show double refraction, 
with the optical axis in the direction of growth. 

Treated with sulphuric acid, potash, and chromic acid, both samples 
split up into elementary fibrils without showing any peculiar character- 
istic features. 

The differences in the two hair samples as regards pigmentation, 
structure of the fibres, and of the epidermis, does not yet make it 
certain that the hair is drawn from different individuals, since different 
colours of hair grow in one and the same person. The difference in 
the epidermal structure may be due to different ages of the hair. But 
the expert noticed, when treating the samples with warm sulphuric 
acid (80 per cent., temperature 50° C), that the sample taken from 
Eva dissolved into its fibrils much more cleanly than Estelle's hair 
when treated in the same manner. Eva's hair dissolved very naturally 
into its elements, while Estelle's hair not only showed this dissolution, 
but a partial solution of the fibrils themselves. This difference indicates 
a difference in the chemical constitution of the substance, which is not 
seen in one and the same individual. It is therefore probable that both 
samples of hair belong to different individuals. 



134 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

Sitting of the 25th November 1911. 

Present. — Mme. Bisson and the author. 

Conditions as in previous sittings. 

After several exposures of a white material on Eva's left shoulder, 

1 saw, to the left of her head, a white disk-like structure. At the next 
opening of the curtain I turned on the current, and took a photograph. 
The sitting was then closed, and the final examination was negative. 

The pictures (Figs. 58 and 59) are very successful, and show Eva 
with compressed mouth and closed eyes in her chair. The face is 
turned half to the left. A fairly long fragment of material, about 

2 inches wide, and folded several times, joins the back of her hair with 
the left curtain from within, and appears to be fastened at both ends 
(by Eva's hands ?). From this hangs a second piece of fur-like sub- 
stance, the size and shape of a lady's handkerchief, forming a rectangular 
fiat surface with irregular margins. This is attached to the strip by 
its narrow edge. An examination of the piece of material in the stereo- 
scopic transparency shows that the surface is covered with numerous 
irregular folds, both small and large. The light grey centre is well 
marked off in the middle, from the darker and broader margin. The 
whole makes an impression more of rough fur or skin than of a woven 
fabric or a product of wood fibre. In its whole composition it recalls 
the piece photographed on the 18th November 1911. As we shall see 
later, the same substance is used as a base for the head structures. 



Observations in December 1911 (Paris). 

The physical need towards materialisation often occurred spon- 
taneously with Eva at odd times, and appears to depend upon her 
physical condition. 

As already mentioned, Mme. Bisson was in the habit of hypnotising 
Eva every evening in the cabinet (but in her day dress), in order to 
maintain the suggestive rapport and to influence her psychic condition 
favourably towards the sittings. 

In a letter of 9th December 1911, she reports as follows : — 

" Yesterday I hypnotised Eva as usual, and she unexpectedly began 
to produce phenomena. As soon as they began, Eva allowed me to 
undress her completely. I then saw a thick thread emerge from the 
vagina. It changed its place, left the genitals, and disappeared in the 
navel depression. 

" More material emerged from the vagina, and with a sinuous serpen- 
tine motion of its own it crept up the girl's body, giving the impression 
as if it were about to rise into the air. Finally it ascended to her head, 
entered Eva's mouth, and disappeared. 

" Eva then stood up, and again a mass of material appeared at the 
genitals, spread out, and hung suspended between her legs. A strip 



OBSERVATIONS IN DECEMBER 1911 (PARIS) 135 

of it rose, took a direction towards me, receded, and disappeared. All 
this happened while Eva stood up. She then sat down on the floor, 
supported her head on her joined hands, and her elbows on my knees. 
At that moment another broad strip of material appeared, lying across 
her knees. At one end of it the shape of an imperfectly materialised, 
but quite recognisable, hand became visible. A further mass of material 
appeared on Eva's left shoulder. Then the whole mass disappeared 
and did not reappear." 

The above report is supplemented by a letter of 13th December, 
which contains answers to questions put by the author. It appears 
that the material vanished after its first appearance as if it had been 
dissolved, also at the end of the sitting. During the whole process 
the curtains were open, and the red lights were burning as during the 
sittings. Mme. Bisson was in front of the cabinet and Eva inside. 
During the upward motion of the strip, from the genital passage to 
the mouth, the material showed slowly undulating movements. 

At one moment the material rose in the air, and seemed to try and 
detach itself from the medium's body, while Eva was motionless. It 
gave the impression of being directed by some unseen force, while she 
herself was passive. Slowly, as if of very light weight, the material 
sank back. 

Mme. Bisson was able to observe these phenomena from beginning 
to end without interruption. The colour of the material was grey, 
without transparency. She adds : "I know that these facts, having 
been observed by me alone, are therefore of less value in the eyes of 
many savants. Discoveries increase in importance in proportion to 
the amount of the observational material. Even if you, and other 
sitters, do not succeed in obtaining the same results as I, my collected 
experiences, committed to writing, may yet serve the truth. It is quite 
natural that I, who live with the medium, and observe her the whole 
day, hypnotising her regularly, should get to see more than savants, 
wLo only participate from time to time." 

In a letter of 11th December, Mme. Bisson touches the ques- 
tion raised by the author as to detaching a piece of the material 
produced by Eva. She refers to the fact that the well-known 
medium, Mrs d'Esperance, was seriously injured in her health by one 
of those present grasping the transfiguration : " To an invitation to 
Paris, this lady, who was not a professional medium, but gave sittings 
solely in the interests of science, replied that she would never again 
offer herself for any kind of experiments, not because she lacked con- 
fidence in her own powers, but because she mistrusted the savants, 
who, in her somnambulic condition, had grasped the material. In 
consequence she was seriously ill for several months, and had never 
regained her full health. Yet I know that it woidd be of the highest 
scientific interest to obtain a piece of this material. In my opinion, 
its analysis would only yield organic substances derived from Eva's 
body. At the present moment, when the phenomena originate in the 
vagina, they would probably only contain cells, and cell products, 
corresponding to the anatomical structure of the vagina. I therefore 
do not wish to employ any force or compulsion which might injure the 



136 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

medium, quite apart from the unpleasantness I might thereby incur 
with her relatives. Believe me, she prefers her health to any sort of 
phenomena. She lends herself to these experiments to please me. 
She has no conception of the importance of the phenomena, not being 
sufficiently well informed. Nor does she want to read anything about 
them, and keep herself up to date. Every day she tells me that she is 
bored, and wants to marry. Still, I have the desire and the intention 
to possess a piece of the material. But I wish to get it from her, i.e., 
with her consent. I expect to succeed by great patience and per- 
.severance, but not by violence. Do not say that Eva runs no risk. 
You cannot be sure of that, since you do not know yourself what the 
material consists of, nor how it is connected with her body. In yes- 
terday's sitting I saw, about ten times running, a completely materialised 
hand of an extraordinarily firm consistence, which several times touched 
ray hand, and each time laid a piece of veil on the palm of my hand. 
The little finger and thumb were joined by a fine ribbon. I never saw 
a hand as clear as this." 

Answering some questions concerning the phenomenon, the lady 
supplemented her report in a letter of 16th December as follows : — 

" While the materialised hand touched me, both Eva's hands visibly 
held the curtain, and in order to be quite certain I touched both Eva's 
hands with my left hand." 

She continues her report (letter of 11th December) as follows : — 
" Suddenly Eva declared she felt nothing more. She hiccoughed as if 
about to vomit, complained of sickness, and said : ' I wish to go to bed 
without being wakened.' I therefore took her to bed. She appeared 
to suffer, and cried out. I hesitated to waken her, but suddenly she 
said I was wrong to close the sitting, as ' they ' (meaning the entities in 
the mediumistic sense) were annoyed, since they were still there and 
wanted to show themselves. 

" Thereupon the phenomena commenced again in the bed, the 
material again emerging from the vagina, as some days before. Eva lay 
stretched on her back, and I knelt in front of the bed. The mass 
emerging from the genitals had the shape of a thick and solid strip, 
passing along the thigh, and appearing to recede into her body. Sud- 
denly she exclaimed, ' Look, look, it comes again ; I feel a head.' Then 
a round and fairly solid sphere, of the shape and size of a billiard ball, 
fell into my hand as it lay with the palm upwards between her legs. 
Also another, quite small, one. The sphere was attached to her body 
by a ribbon. I thus held in my hand this mysterious living mass, 
which moved on the palm of my hand. I rose with the intention of 
closing my hand in order to achieve the long-desired success, when 
suddenly the whole thing disappeared from my hand as if it had been 
vaporised. I searched in the bed and under the medium, but found 
no trace. All had disappeared, and remained so. 

" Eva felt free and at rest, and I could go to bed. Can you give 
me the key to these mysterious occurrences, which I report to you just 
as I have experienced them ? " 




Fig. 58. Author's flashlight photograph of 
25 November, lyii. [Front view.) 




Fi*^' 59- The same taken in side view from 

THE CABINET. 




Fig. 6o. Flashlight photograph by the author, 30 December, 191 i. 



SITTINGS OF DECEMBER 1911 AND JANUARY 1912 137 

Further, Mme. Bisson reports in a letter of 18th December 1911 : — 
" Last night I held a sitting, in which a lady took part. After the 
entity ' la petite Estelle ' had shown itself several times, a male face 
appeared, and three times I clearly recognised my deceased nephew. 
The apparition disappeared slowly, being wafted upwards. Then the 
medium said, ' I see nothing more, nothing at all.' I then wanted to 
awaken Eva, but found her still so dazed that I took her to bed in that 
condition. I did not leave her, but waited to see if anything further 
would happen. Ten minutes after she had lain down, the stertorous 
breathing began again, and she fell into catalepsy. Then phenomena 
appeared in the region of the vagina. A fiat ribbon of material emerged 
from the genitals, remaining joined to them by a small junction. I 
touched it and pulled at it (which made Eva scream), and hoped to 
withdraw a small piece hanging loose. But, unfortunately, I did not 
succeed, as Eva resisted too much, and the whole product was reabsorbed 
into the vagina. The material was white, and showed in the centre 
a black patch like a hole. After it had disappeared, Eva exclaimed, 
' Oh, I suffer no more ; I feel very well.' I let her lie, and suggested 
to her to sleep well till the morning. She awoke refreshed the next 
morning, and was cheerful the whole morning. But already by 
2 o'clock on that day she became numbed, and her eyes assumed a 
peculiar expression. The afternoon passed without anything special 
happening. But hardly had I hypnotised her at 9 p.m. when the 
entity ' la petite Estelle ' showed itself seven times in succession, but 
too far behind the curtain to be photographed." 



Sittings of December ipii and January 1912 (Paris). 

Sittings of the 27th and 29th December 1911. 

Sittings negative. 

Eva's attention had been distracted by the presence of a friend of 
the family in Paris. She appeared nervously excited, and passed 
through one of those crises which take several days to subside. 

Sitting of the 30th December 1911. 

Sitters. — Mme. Bisson and the author. 

Conditions, control, and illumination as in previous sittings. 

Immediately after ths extinction of the white light and the setting-in 
of the somnambulic state, Eva made the well-known noises of long-drawn 
expirations and stertorous groaning and gasping. Hardly had I taken 
my place to the medium's right, when a white mass, double the size of 
a hand, became visible in her lap. During the following twenty minutes 
the psychophysical efforts continued. The substance changed its 
place, and at the next exposure we saw it on Eva's head. I requested 
her to show the female face previously photographed, which, according 



138 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

to the medium, belongs to an entity " Estelle," and this was promised. 
Also, the head was to be visible in a larger size than before. 

After another ten minutes the curtain opened again, and I saw 
attached to Eva's head, on the right side, a female face in profile, swathed 
like a nun. The bandage went over the forehead and covered the ears, 
but the image was only visible for a moment in the light. When next 
the curtains were opened the head stood a little lower, about the level 
of her chest, 20 inches above her right hand. I then saw the same 
pretty female face quite distinctly, and I was so surprised by the 
natural colour and the life-like expression, that my first impression was 
that it might be the (not simultaneously visible) head of the medium 
swathed in material (" transfiguration "). 

I communicated this idea to Mme. Bisson, and did not attach to 
the phenomenon the importance which it assumed afterwards. 

Again I addressed a request to the medium- — or, rather, to the 
intelligence here at work — that " la petite Estelle " might expose 
herself for photography at the right place, i.e., to Eva's right, since the 
camera inside the cabinet was focused on that point. As soon as the 
female profile showed itself again, I switched on the current. 

The nervous shock produced by the light resulted in a tetanic 
contraction of the medium's voluntary muscles. Respiration ceased, 
and was only slowly restored. After the exposure Mme. Bisson entered 
the cabinet, in order to soothe Eva and enable her to recover. 

After she had recovered and the plates had been changed, the female 
face was seen again. This time, however, the curtain covered Eva's 
head, so that the profile of the materialised female head could only be 
seen through the magnesium smoke in the room. In bearing and 
position the two heads, taken within seven minutes of each other, are 
equal. After this the sitting had to be closed, on account of the exhaus- 
tion of the medium. The subsequent examination showed that the 
tights were stained with blood in the genital region (menses). Eva had 
removed the usual bandages before the sitting. 

On developing the photographs (Figs. 60, 61, and 62) it was found at 
once that the female face seen and photographed by the author did 
not belong to the medium. The photographic results of the five cameras 
count among the best of the collection. The two stereoscopic pictures 
differ only in the size of the objects shown, while the two profile photo- 
graphs, i.e., that of the interior lateral camera, and that of the 7 by 9| 
inches camera, show the same head, but from different points of view. 

The female face — one-third smaller than the medium's head, but, 
according to my wish, larger than the last photograph of Estelle — 
covers with its back portion the whole of Eva's head (turned to the 
left and forward) from the right ear down to the neck of the dress. It 
appears as if growing out of the medium's neck. The neck of the 
apparition, visible along its whole length, is attached like a stalk to 
Eva's neck, as if growing from it, and this gives the picture the character 
of a Janus-like double head. Unfortunately, a fragmentary hanging 
strip of the much-folded grey and white head-covering covers with its 
shadow the very point where the two heads appear to join. 

The face, completely developed in its design, is regular. The 
particular characteristics of this type are : the lines of the small 




Fig. 6i. Magnification from I-ig. oo. 




Fig. 62. Side view of Fig. 00 takex inside the cabinet, with exl.^rgemext. 



SITTINGS OF DECEMBER 1911 AND JANUARY 1912 139 

bridge of the nose, which, without an indentation, passes into the 
forehead in almost a straight hne ; the fine drawing of the side of the 
nose ; the comparatively great distance between the nose and the 
upper lip ; the small closed mouth, with straight thin lips ; and the 
rather short rounded chin, tapering forward and appearing almost 
angular in this photograph, with its lower line almost as if cut straight 
Avhere it passes towards the throat. 

The rather large, well -shaped, and deep-set eye has a dreamy 
expression, and is almost half covered by the upper eyelid. The left 
cheek, on the other hand, gives the impression of a dull surface without 
high lights or half shadows, without folds or modelling, and this does 
not contribute to the vivacity of the expression. The forehead down 
to the eyebrows is capped with a thick, dark grey, felt-like stuff, which, 
however, seems to dissolve into transparent veils, and completely 
envelopes the face and head. This veil, carefully arranged in folds, is 
joined in a loose knot under the chin. Over the junction of the hair of 
the two women there lies the cap-like fabric already mentioned, from 
which a strip hangs down to the middle of Eva's breast. 

The observer's curiosity as to how these two heads are joined is 
left unsatisfied. The magnified picture taken by the inner camera 
corresponds, by virtue of its finer drawing, to the classical profile, and 
recalls heads on Etruscan and Greek vases — as a work of art it is an 
excellent production. From the study of these photographs alone, 
one cannot decide how far these face forms are developed plastically. 
To me, personally, the profile view of the face appears flat, while the 
whole drapery of the head, including the veils, consists of real materials. 
The stereoscopic photographs leave no doubt of this. 

Neither can the question be decided as to whether there is a right 
half of the face, nor whether it is plastically developed. In beauty of 
form and purity of drawing, this face stands in the foremost rank. 

The second negative (Fig. 63), obtained at the same sitting, is some- 
what veiled by the inagnesium smoke in the room. It only gives the 
head of " Estelle," which, when magnified, appears softer, more vivid, 
and more plastic than in the last photograph. 

It shows some essential differences from the first picture. We see 
nothing of the lace cover of the head, while the turban-like head orna- 
ment remains, and is more closely bound. In addition, the shape of 
the chin is more rounded, and the expression brighter, and, generally, 
the second photograph looks more complete than the first. There is a 
remarkable difference in the way the head is held in the two photo- 
graphs. In the first one the face is stretched forward, so that the 
throat and the lower chin form nearly a straight line, whereas, in 
the second picture, they are distinctly curved by the head being 
withdrawn. This is clear on comparing the stereoscopic pictures with 
the others. 

In a careful examination of the first two photographs, as compared 
with the three-quarter profile taken from the side, the differences in 
the lenses used, and the different positions of the cameras, must be taken 
into account. Nevertheless, the slightly different shadows in the three 
pictures show that it was not a rigid form on an immovable foundation, 
as, for instance, a drawing on paper. 



140 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 



Sittings of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th January 1912. 

Negative. 

This failure is possibly explained by the various diversions and 
entertainments connected with the New Year. My disappointment 
was not lost on Eva. On the 4th January she made great efforts to 
bring about phenomena, and, in the somnambulic state towards the 
close of the sitting, she said, " Je voudras lui donner ma tete si je 
pourrais." So she was ready to make every sacrifice in order to satisfy 
the sitters. This little observation shows how easily a professional 
medium might, under less rigid conditions, be influenced by the strong 
suggestion of her own ambition, and the keen desire of the sitters, and 
led to indulge in fraudulent manipulations. 

The despair of the medium also shows that the production of pheno- 
mena does not depend only upon her own will, though she may, indeed, 
be able to furnish psychic conditions favourable or unfavourable to 
the occurrence of phenomena. Even a strong deflection oi her attention, 
a vivid mental preoccupation, and other things (e.g., a letter from a 
friend, a question of dress, visits, stimulating conversation before the 
sitting, impatient waiting for late sitters), suffice to destroy the necessary 
passive and receptive condition of the mediumistic mind, which is so 
essential to the phenomena. In such cases a sort of psychic impotence 
brings about an inhibition of the necessary emotional state, and a 
resistance to the physiological process of teleplastic emanations ; hence 
the unsatisfying condition of trial, and failure sets in. 



Sitting of the 5th January 1912. 

Sitters. — Mme. Bisson and the author. 

Conditions as usual. 

Even before the sitting, while in the waking state, Eva gave a 
peculiar dream-like and dazed impression (condition of slight hysterical 
absence). Mme. Bisson said, " Elle est deja prise." Hypnotisation 
required barely fifteen seconds. The author opened the camera in the 
cabinet while Mme. Bisson held Eva's hands. Immediately after 
hypnotisation, while the curtain was being drawn, we heard loud, long, 
and deep expirations, lasting from three to twenty seconds. These 
expirations gave the subjective impression as if with this intense 
breathing she exhaled some kind of material. 

Mme. Bisson steadily held her hands. After about five seconds, 
Eva disengaged her left hand, and used it for opening the curtain, so 
that both hands still remained visible. We then saw attached to her 
head, which was turned to the left, a white mass, 20 inches long, with 
torn and ragged edges. She opened and closed the curtains several 
times without changing the position of her hands, as described. The 
material had then disappeared from the head, shoulder, and upper 
arm, and could not be discovered anywhere in the cabinet. 

Obviously the substance had separated from her body in order to 




Fig. 63. .Magnification of part of author's second flashlight photograph of 

30 December, ign. 



I'IG. O4. AUiaOKs ilKbi ILASHIIGHX PilOlOGKAPH, 7 JANUARY, Iyl2. 




Jr'iG. G5. Side view of last picture, taken 

INSIDE THE CABINET. 



SITTINGS OF DECEMBER 1911 AND JANUARY 1912 141 

serve as material for the coming phenomena. We expressed a wish to 
see again the female face, described by the medium as " Estelle," which 
had been photographed at the last sitting, and this time we wished to 
see it in front view, and with a smiling expression. 

Eva then withdrew her hands. The curtain remained closed 
entirely for about a quarter of an hour, while her gasping and whim- 
pering indicated that something was happening. During the next 
exposure the curtain usually remained open for about three seconds, 
so that we had sufficient time to make a general survey of the picture, 
with its chief characteristics. 

First, we saw, in front of her face, the upper part of a male face, 
which appeared plastically developed, with forehead, eyes, and temples, 
but resembling a mask half cut off. The place of the nose was taken 
by a long, narrow, white fragment which was freely mobile. The mouth 
and lower jaw were absent. The eyes could not be recognised. I 
could not make up my mind to take a photograph, since I wanted to 
secure a finished, and more distinctly developed, face. 

After this rough shape had shown itself several times we saw, to 
the right of Eva's head, the lower half of a male face, again resembling 
a portion of a mask. The mouth was half open and seemed to smile, 
as we had wished. There was no beard. 

Next we saw, in the left corner of the cabinet, a white head-like 
patch, separated from the medium, and standing about 6 feet high. It 
gave the impression of a beardless male face in profile. This imperfect 
formation did not approach us, in spite of several invitations. As we 
could distinctly see through the rather narrow gap in the curtains 
(3 or 4 inches wide), the object had separated from the medium's body. 
Eva herself expressed a wish that it should come forward and become 
more distinct. As this wish still remained without response, she 
borrowed my little red electric torch in order to illuminate the product 
herself. But when the light fell on it the apparition immediately 
disappeared, and did not come again that evening. 

Again we saw on Eva's right shoulder a white veil -like mass, and 
noticed a female face in miniature, the size of a small child's head, seen 
from the front. 

Eva asked us to wait for the photograph, as the head would grow 
larger. She again borrowed the little red torch and illuminated the 
apparition, so that I could observe it more closely. 

My first impression was that of a flat picture framed in a cleverly- 
arranged veil. Without a knowledge of the conditions, one might be 
tempted to consider the apparition as fraudulent, and as brought about 
by well-known means. When the curtain again opened, I had the 
distinct impression that this female face was plastic and modelled in 
low relief, and had therefore changed its appearance. The colour of 
the face was grey, and the size of the head corresponded to that of a 
child about two years of age. 

After that a white mass developed in the same place without a 
distinct form or features. This disappeared completely, and the 
sitting ended. Final examination of cabinet and medium negative. 

We must deny any life-like character to the forms seen to-day. 
They were simply fragments of a mask-like or picture-like character. 



142 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

SjTTING OF THE 6TH JaNUARY 1912. 

Negative. 



Sitting of the 7th January 1912. 

Present. — Mme. Bisson and the author. 

Conditions as usual. Commenced at 8.30 p.m. 

Eva had very cold hands before the sitting. The curtain remained 
closed for half an hour, while Eva's behaviour indicated positive 
results. After half an hour I saw through the barely-open curtain 
a white mass pretty high over the medium's head. The whole 
behaviour of the medium gave an impression of deep trance and 

great effort. 

Only towards 9.45 did she give glimpses into the cabinet by opening 
the curtain, saying that " la petite Listelle " wanted to show herself to 
us. Eva had turned her head to the left, and I could see perched on 
her hair a female face in profile, not quite normal size, the two faces 
being turned away from each other. The forehead and head were 
draped with white cloths and veils. 

Curiously enough, Eva exclaimed beforehand, "I see hair — much 
hair." (The photograph taken subsequently furnishes the explanation 
of these words.) 

Nevertheless, the profile, which resembled the female face photo- 
graphed at the previous sitting, gave a less clear impression. After 
several efforts by the medium the face appeared to grow more distinct. 
A long fragmentary strip hung down from her right shoulder. 

As^soon as she opened the curtain again, I closed the electric contact, 
and changed the plates at once. Meanwhile, Mme. Bisson entered the 
cabinet, in order to soothe Eva, who had been violently affected by the 
light, and was trembling. She says that as she entered the cabinet 
the apparition disappeared, though Eva had not changed her position. 
But in the left comer of the cabinet she saw a long white structure, 
resembling a strip of muslin. When Eva had recovered, some minutes 
later, Mme. Bisson resumed her place. Immediately the same female 
face appeared, in the same place. 

After changing the plates and adjusting the flash-light powder 
(about seven minutes) I resumed my seat, and, during the next opening, 
I took a second photograph. The structure disappeared, like the others, 
without leaving a trace, and the sitting had to be closed. 

Eva showed an accelerated pulse of 104 per minute, and, after being 
carefully searched, she was taken to bed in a shaken condition. Some 
mucus and a little blood issued from her mouth and genital passage. 
Final examination negative. 

The observations of the sitting were confirmed, on all essential 
points, on the development of the plates. 

In the first series (Figs. 64, 65 and 66) we see a pretty female profile 
perched on the right-hand portion of Eva's head and neck, and resting 




Fig. 67. Author's second flashlight photograph, 7 January, 1912. 



SITTINGS OF DECEMBER 1911 AND JANUARY 1912 143 

on her right shoulder. This seems to consist of a white mass, and 
shows little indication of plastic modelling, as far as the face alone is 
concerned. The lower part of the profile (the line from the corner of 
the mouth to the nose) is surprisingly long as compared with the upper 
part. 

The face is covered by a fine transparent veil, which appears to be 
torn in the region of the left eye. The forehead, which is slightly too 
low, is encased in black shiny material, which covers the head like a cap, 
and then covers the hair in curious loops and knots, folded something- 
like black taffetas. 

Besides this bandage there are three layers of a veil-like substance, 
appearing partly light grey and partly dark grey. The particularly 
fine turban -like arrangement, which could only be unravelled by careful 
study of the stereoscopic transparencies, forms the principal origin of 
a rich variety of broad, well-dressed locks of hair, covering the whole 
hinder portion of the face, from the eye and the corner of the mouth 
backwards, so completely that only in one place does the white base 
shine through. The colour of the hair was dark (black in the photo- 
graph). It ends on Eva's shoulder in curls, turned upward and appearing 
as. if singed with curling-irons. Underneath these a long transparent 
veil hangs down to Eva's hips. 

The stereotyped expression of the first photograph, and the dis- 
proportionately small eye, do not allow this picture to seem true to 
life. The side-view, taken from the interior of the cabinet durino- the 
same flash, shows a vague profile, and is too indistinct to justify any 
conclusions. 

While in this case the face is directed rather upwards, the second 
photograph shows the same formation with a slight inclination down- 
wards. The downward flowing curls have disappeared, the head is 
covered in the same way in front, but the cheek portion of the face is 
freer. Instead of the hair there is a conglomeration of grey, black, and 
white veils. The hanging white veil appearing in the first picture is 
now collected into a narrow strip, fastened to the back of Eva's head 
with a knot, and, hanging down to Eva's neck, it forms the 
termination between the hair of the medium am. the attachment of 
the formation. 

In the second profile photograph (Figs. 67 and 68) the expression 
of the face is more clearly brought out. It seems pleasanter, and the 
lines of the profile are strikingly soft. The cheek is traversed by a 
crease, or crack, which is also indicated in the first picture. The 
composition and arrangement of this head appear to be a remarkably 
artistic performance, quite apart from the question as to how it was 
done. 

The question now arises as to the origin of this hair. We see real 
black-looking hair in long shiny strands, well dressed and arranged in 
curls. Does this hair belong to Eva's head, or is it a sort of materialised 
wig ? My personal impression favours the simpler assumption, viz., 
that Eva's coiffure was opened out broadly, and used for decorating 
the picture, especially as the lowermost curl can be followed direct 
from the medium's hair. It is dressed in the same way, and is as long 
as the rest of her hair, and similarly arranged. The cap-like structure 



144 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

is therefore only apparently the division between the two heads. It is 
partly attached to Eva's head, and gives the impression of an indepen- 
dent coiffure. In the second series of pictures the curls have dis- 
appeared, having been restored to Eva's head, and their place is taken 
by the veil conglomeration already referred to. That this extra- 
ordinarily artistic arrangement could be produced in the dark, 
without a mirror, by some power as yet unknown, is in any case 
remarkable. 

The following point appears much more remarkable than any 
hitherto enumerated. In photograph (1) we have an upward position 
of the head with a downward gaze, whereas in photograph (2) we have 
a downward position of the head with an upward gaze. On the first 
picture the upper eyelid covers half the pupil, and is therefore half 
closed ; while on the second picture the upper eyelid is wide open and 
the pupil, with the high light, is completely visible. 

All the negatives, including the stereoscopic ones, show the same 
state of things, which is therefore not due to some accidental indis- 
tinctness. This change, in conjunction with the better modelling of 
the corner of the mouth, which is drawn slightly upwards, produces 
a pleasant impression in the second picture, which also appears more 
finished. 

If we take into account that all the rest of the characteristics of 
both profiles, including imperfections and faults, are identical in the 
two pictures, and that both photographs were taken in succession 
with an interval of about seven minutes, and with the same experi- 
mental conditions, we may consider the fact established that in both 
cases we have to deal with the same picture, which, in consequence of 
its non-rigid, variable, and half-soft condition, was modified and 
perfected, before the second photograph, by the anonymous artistic 
intelligence. 



Sittings of the 9th, 10th and 12th January 1912. 
Negative. 

Sitting of the 27th January 1912. 

Alex. Bisson, the author, whose wife had devoted herself in the 
most generous manner to the exploration of mediumistic phenomena, 
succumbed, after six months' illness, to the effects of a paralytic 
stroke. 

Eva, who lived in the house and was treated as a member of the 
family, was affected by the occurrence as much as any of the family. 
Although a few positive sittings took place in the author's absence, 
the productive power of the medium entirely ceased between 20th 
February and 22nd March, although several times a week experiments 
were regularly tried. 




Fig. OS EXLAKGEMENT OF rORTION OF FiG. 6;, 




Fig. 69. Mme. Bisson's first flashlight photo- 
graph, 14 February, 1912. 





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Fig. 70. Side view of previous picture. 



OBSERVATIONS IN MARCH AND APRIL 1912 (PARIS) 145 

Observations in Marcli and April 1912 (Paris). 

Sittings of the 5th and 14th February 1912. 

Mme. Bisson writes in a letter, dated 8th February 1912 : — " On 
5th February 1912, shortly after the death of my husband, Eva was 
occupied in a psychographic exercise, when she suddenly stopped and 
produced what wa^" for me an extraordinary phenomenon of incarnation 
(dramatic representation of a personality in the trance condition). 
M. Bisson appeared, represented by Eva, and spoke to me with his own 
voice and his own gestures. He repeated the last words addressed to 
me before his death, with his own intonation and characteristics. I 
ought to say that, since my return from St Jean de Luz in October 1911, 
i.e., during the last three months, Eva had not entered the sick room. 
During this performance the medium breathed very audibly. Without 
desiring to convince you or to make any reflections on this event, I must 
confess that the impression made upon me was a very deep one. The 
girl then fell into catalepsy, and recovered very slowly." On 15th 
February, also, Mme. Bisson observed the same procedure, and she 
reports : " This time I put a question which M. Bisson alone was able 
to answer. The reply was appropriate." 

During a sitting on the 14th February 1912, in my absence, 
Mme. Bisson took two photographs. When Eva had been hypnotised, 
a portrait appeared which was not apparently drawn from life, but 
reproduced from memory of a picture. It appeared first between 
Eva and the curtain, then on her head (Figs. 69 and 70), and finally on 
her shoulder (Fig. 71). 

It recalls the painting by Leonardo da Vinci of Monna Lisa, which 
had disappeared from the Louvre. It is quite possible that the 
numerous reproductions of this picture in the public press left a per- 
manent impression on the memory of the medium, and that the portrait 
of the 14th February was the result. 

The head, seen from the front, is quite flat, and is attached to Eva's 
hair by a round neck piece, being bent slightly backwards. The drawing 
is somewhat stiff and conventional, like the portraits of old Italian and 
German masters, but otherwise very purely and carefully executed 
The identity of the Monna Lisa is vouched for by the prominent cheek 
bones, the short double chin, the broad bridge to the nose, the deep-set 
dark eye (without high lights), and the long loose hair. The drawing 
of the left eye, and of the eye-sockets, is not only out of proportion, but 
also wooden and amateurish. Two white spots (of teleplasm ?) lie on 
the hair and the left eye, covering the latter, and these recur in all the 
pictures of the series. It is interesting to note how the artist has given 
the impression of wavy and curly hair-dressing by the distribution of 
light and shade. The basis for the hair silhouette, with its sharp outer 
margin, is the dark material product already previously referred to, 
which has no resemblance to cardboard, but which has a soft and more 
felt-like character. Both on the face and on the hair are numerous 
folds running across the portrait. On the head, towards the left, there 
is a real veil hanging dowTi over Eva's face, and in the second photo- 

K 



146 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

graph this covers a portion of the hair on the right, and otherwise shows 
differences of arrangement. 

After several weeks' cessation, during my absence, the phenomena 
were resumed on the 22nd March, and the new series of experiments 
was attended by M. de Vesme, Editor of the Annales des Sciences 
Psychiques, and also, in turn, by the sons of Mme. Bisson. 

The photographs from this period are mostly head fragments or 
preliminary stages in the development of faces, but are more valuable 
on account of their originality, and their curious form. The endeavour 
towards fuller formation is perceptible throughout. 



Sittings of the 2nd, 8th, 14th, 15th, 20th and 23rd April 1912. 

In the sitting of 2nd April M. de Vesme photographed too early. 
The curtains were not sufficiently widely open. Only the photograoh 
with the apparatus in the cabinet succeeded. 

We see, in the side view, on the back of Eva's head a white mass 
resembling a small tower, which has not yet acquired a distinct shape, 
and which reaches nearly down to her neck below (Fig. 72). It seems 
to be composed of ribbon-shaped pieces twisted together. The observa- 
tion of the sitters (Andre Bisson, M. de Vesme, and Mme. Bisson) that 
the exposure was made during the beginning of the materialisation 
and therefore too early, is confirmed by the photograph. We have 
here apparently amorphous teleplasm in a stage preliminary to the 
development of a face. This is indicated by the structure and com- 
position of the substance. 

The photograph (Fig. 73) taken on 8th April was again due to 
M. de Vesme. The head, only developed as far as the nose, is placed 
on Eva's hair like a helmet. The mouth portion is not yet developed, 
and forms an open, narrow, rectilinear base for the upper half of the 
face, the latter being framed in a white fibrous mass as in a wig. The 
remnants of this half-formed substance hang down in one mass on the 
right side of the face down to the medium's shoulder. The picture 
forms a valuable contribution to the study of heads in course of 
development. 

The front view of the medium, taken by De Vesme on 14th April, 
shows on the hair a portion of material in which three finger-points are 
developed in low relief, while two ribbons joined in a loop hang down 
towards the forehead (Fig. 74). 

The side view of the same picture, taken inside the cabinet, and 
with the same flash, give another view quite independent of the front 
view. The substance is built up on the top of Eva's head, and points 
upw^ards, while broad bands of matter pass down the parting of the 
hair, and also towards the back. A face can only be recognised as a 
shortened profile turned towards the ceiling. The forehead is somewhat 
compressed and drawn out in length. The hair is well marked from 
the forehead to the ears. The eyelid, nose, and upper lip are unmis- 
takable, although imperfect. The lower part of the whole head dis- 
appears in the white fabric lying round chin, ears, and neck, like a 
bandage, and this fabric also joins the face with the base and materials 





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Fig. 73. De Vesme's flashlight photograph of S april, 
1912. 




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De \'esme's flashlight photo- 
graph OF 14 APRIL, I912. 





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OBSERVATIONS IN MARCH AND APRIL 1912 (PARIS) 147 

on the head. Again a fragment, a further link in the genesis of tele- 
plastic head forms (Fig. 75). Here, for the first time, we see two 
different and independent structures represented by the same 
materialised substance. From the front it appears as three finger- 
points, while the negative in the cabinet shows a female face turned 
towards the ceiling. A rare phenomenon ! Another imperfect forma- 
tion is shown by the photograph, taken on 15th April 1912, also in De 
Vesme's presence, and consisting of a female face on Eva's head (Fig. 76). 

The left side, as compared with the right, seems to be displaced 
a little upwards, as indicated by the higher and slanting position of 
the right supra-orbital region. The chin portion is obviously unfinished. 
Again the hair is arranged like a white wig, and there is a streak (a rent, 
or the lower veil margin) across the face, over the bridge of the nose. 
As in the case of the former head arrangement, this face, in the stereo- 
scope, gives the impression of a plastic form in low relief. In the tangle 
of fragments of material hanging down, two parallel strips of a finer, 
muslin-like material proceeding from the mouth, are conspicuous. 
The whole structure is remarkable for its imperfections and its grotesque 
appearance. 

A few days later (20th April 1912) M. Andre Bisson,i son of 
Mme. Bisson, took a further photograph, in which Eva holds the curtain 
with her hands. The head is turned towards the left. In front of her 
face, and, therefore, certainly 20 inches behind the left curtain, we see 
a broad rectangular formation with irregular margins, which is either 
separated by the back of the chair or hangs free (Figs. 77 and 78). 

This packet of material is joined to Eva's mouth by a broad band, 
appearing dark grey or black in the photograph, which passes from the 
open mouth slantingly upwards. From the neck of her dress, in two 
places, we see small quantities of material projecting over the hem, 
and corresponding in shape to three flat glove-fingers. On the magnifi- 
cation of the picture these projections seem to coalesce with the epidermis 
of Eva's throat, and one cannot say definitely whether they are tucked 
in and bent round, as one might conclude from the first impression. 
The magnification gives no hint of a textile product, since the structure 
gives more the impression of a ribbon without any characteristic 
markings. A further interesting study is furnished by a picture taken 
by Mme. Bisson on 23rd April, especially in the side view. In a ma^ss 
of amorphous substance the size of a head, and consisting of heaps or 
packets of miscellaneous hanging strips and fragments, we see the 
beginnings of a face formation, including two e3'es and a broad thick 
nose, and beneath it some beginnings of a mouth. Everything else is 
imperfect, but yet gives an impression of an elementary creation sui 
generis. Unfortunately, both views are ill-defined (Figs. 79 and 80). 



Sittings in April 1912 (Paris). 

Between 1st and 10th March the author was present at six sittings, 
all of which were negative. 

^ M. Andre Bisson holds an office in the Ministry of Finance. 



148 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 



Sitting of the 29th April 1912. 

Present. — M. de Vesme, Mme. Bisson, her son Pierre (aged 13), and 

the author. 

Conditions as during previous experiments. 

Eva fell into a deep, quiet sleep which resembled normal sleep. 
No bodily symptoms (stertorous breathing or whimpering) indicated 
that the psychic condition necessary for the occurrence of phenomena 
was present. She remained dumb, and did not seem to stand en rapport 
with those present. 

After a fruitless waiting of three-quarters of an hour, Mme. Bisson 
tried to convert the passive state of sleep into a light active somnam- 
bulism by laying on her hand, and making urgent verbal suggestions. 
Eva began to show greater activity. She spoke and moaned, and her 
respiration became loud and vigorous. After 10 o'clock a white wisp 
appeared over her left shoulder while her head was bent to the right. 
The hands, which were always visible, opened and closed the curtain, 
and then remained motionless on her knees, while she opened and 
closed the curtain with her feet. 

We then saw some small white hand shapes enter the circle of light 
near her head, and disappear again with lightning rapidity. On one 
occasion a shape resembling a child's hand appeared to grow with a 
revolving motion, and then to disappear suddenly. On several occasions 
Eva's head and hands were simultaneously visible during the pheno- 
mena. Some of the images gave the impression of a well-developed 
female hand, but they hardly remained visible for a second. 

In order to observe more accurately, I rose and stood behind 
Mme. Bisson, who sat in the middle in front of the curtain. I then 
clearly recognised a hand shape, coming out of the dark of the cabinet 
and disappearing, while De Vesme simultaneously controlled both the 
medium's hands. After the last apparition Eva declared that 
" Berthe," who had latterly assumed control of the medium in the 
spiritistic sense, had gone away and would not return. She rose, came 
out of the cabinet, and allowed herself to be completely examined, the 
result being negative. 

The sitting closed towards 11 o'clock. Eva had had a bad day, 
and was in a bad humour, though we could not discover the cause 
of it. 

Sitting of the 30th April 1912. 

Present. — Mme. Bisson, M. de Vesme, M. Pierre Bisson, the author and 

his wife. 

Conditions and control as in the previous sittings. 

My place was to the right of the medium, as usual. 

Since a large number of the phenomena happened to occur on this 
side, the author could not observe them, while those sitting on the 
medium's left had the advantage. 





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PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA 149 

Immediately after the extinction of the white light, a white hand 
shape appeared on the left, at the level of the medium's shoulders, 
while Eva's hands during this and the following observations always 
remained quietly on her knees, and often enough were simultaneously 
visible with the phenomena on the opening of the curtain (with the 
feet). 

Some ten or fourteen times the same form of a hand appeared, 
usually on the right side of the head, but it was too fugitive to be 
photographed. 

After Mme. Bisson had been touched on her right hand, which she 
stretched into the cabinet at the level of the medium's head, my wife's 
extended hand was grasped by a hand with broad, cool and round 
fingers (Eva's fingers are small, narrow, and pointed). Then something 
white appeared on Eva's left shoulder, but nothing could be recognised. 

The phenomena then disappeared, and the sitting seemed at an end, 
but on the urgent suggestion and request of Mme. Bisson the hand 
became visible once or twice, though very fugitive. Final examination 
negative. 

Thus ended the last sitting in the Bissons' flat, Avenue Victor Hugo, 
in Paris. 

On 2nd May the author was present at the dismantling of the 
mediumistic cabinet, consisting of curtains, walls, and roof. He 
examined the whole construction, the material, the walls, etc., again, 
without finding anything remarkable. The lining had no holes any- 
where and the walls were intact. 



PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA. 

For the understanding of what follows, it seems important to insert 
here some remarks on the class of psychical phenomena already men- 
tioned, which Mme. Bisson usually observed alone with Eva in the 
hypnotic preparatory sittings. In a few cases the author was present 
at these. The original object of these experiments was to tune the 
psychical condition of the medium, in a manner favourable for materiali- 
sations, by means of a suggestive rapport, to counteract her mental 
inhibitions, to concentrate her attention and her interest on the 
phenomena — in short, to attain by a systematic psychical training a 
gradually increasing arbitrary influence over the development of her 
abnormal psycho-physical performances. 

Although Eva's peculiar character, combined with a certain indiffer- 
ence regarding her peculiar faculties, was very inaccessible to educational 
influences in the waking state and offered great resistance in the somnam- 
bulic state, the subsequent results have justified the correctness of the 
procedure. 

As already mentioned, the psychical personality of the somnambulist 
differs from that of the medium in the waking condition. The latter is 
rather indifferent to the results of the sittings, but gladly occupies 



150 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

herself with feminine problems — the cut of a new dress, a new hat, 
some amusement, a harmless flirtation, a compliment on her looks, can 
engage her whole interest, change her emotional state, and influence 
her course of action. To these were added, at irregular intervals, 
fitful lapses of temper, not warranted by external conditions, spells 
of anger, under the influence of which she sometimes lost her self- 
control and plied those about her with unfounded accusations. The 
appreciation of the scientific importance of her faculty was lacking. 
Any acknowledgment of her mediumistic performances she used to 
regard as a compliment to her female nature. Her interest in the photo- 
graphs taken during the sittings was slight. She rarely inquired of 
her own accord how they had succeeded, and hardly noticed it when 
the photographs were not shown to her at all. On the other hand, 
Eva possesses a passive and fundamentally good-natured disposition, 
and gives the unprejudiced observer the impression of a harmless and 
modest young girl. When she is in emotional equilibrium she is bright, 
childlike, and amiable, and is much pleased by any small attentions 
shown to her. 

Her hysterical temperament explains, perhaps, this psychological 
diagnosis. That Mme. Bisson faced the great difficulties necessarily 
attending the daily intercourse with a girl of a lower educational level 
for several years, for the sake of mediumistic investigations, must be 
specially acknowledged, besides her other services to the cause. 

From time to time Eva had the same succession of emotional crises. 
First, a latent state of tension, bad humour, and embitterment, which 
might last for days, and was always followed by negative sittings. 
Often Eva declared that the sittings were nothing to her, that she 
wanted to go back to her people. 

In such cases Mme. Bisson acquiesced in her wish, and made her 
pack her boxes. This action, in conjunction with an authoritative 
bearing, or a suggestion in the somnambulic state, often led to a ter- 
mination of the mood, in a flood of tears, and an entire reversal of the 
emotional state. After the reaction Eva was always willing, tractable, 
amiable, and sociable. She was easily influenced, and the sittings were 
successful. 

It is possible that the state of control, on the basis of a hysterical 
disposition, produces a state of embitterment and tension — a sort of 
ressentiment. 

The character of the somnambulic Eva is not fundamentally different 
from that of the medium in the waking condition. But her whole 
nature appears spiritualised, elevated, better balanced, and more 
sensitive. Obstinacy and fits of temper are not often observed ; only 
in rare cases is the irritable mood carried over from the waking into 
the somnambulic state. Displays of anger, as a rule, occur only in 
consequence of interference, possibly necessary, by the sitters, which 
hurts her feminine sense of honour or modesty. Any abrupt and 
unexpected procedure, e.g., awakening her (pin-pricks), touching the 
materialisations (attempted exposure), making a thorough gynaeco- 
logical examination, or expressing doubt as to her honesty, may produce 
anger, violent disturbances of pulse and respiration, hysterical crises, 
and fainting fits. 



PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA 151 

The psychic adjustment of the medium is of the greatest importance 
for the success of the experiments. As ah'eady mentioned, she feels 
the phenomena to be something foreign to her, and a sort of compulsion, 
in spite of the efforts she herself has to make in producing them. 
According to Eva's conception; the phenomena are brought about by 
intelligent powers, independent of herself, by means of her own vitality 
and psychical energy. 

If, in this sense, we wish to judge the psychological relation of the 
medium towards the phenomena, for the practical purposes of the 
sittings, we may distinguish three periods or emotional stages. 

Phase I. — In this phase Eva's state is unfavourable. Bodily 
indisposition, ill-humour, lack of will-power, preoccupation of the 
attention by extraneous subjects, reluctance, and indifference to the 
required psycho-physical effort, and its resulting fatigue, hinder every 
kind of production, even when the intelligent power outside her is 
active and wishes to manifest itself. In such cases there are always 
negative sittings. 

Phase II. — The medium's general condition is favourable. She 
wishes to fulfil her task. But the will-power is too weak for the 
mediumistic act. In this stage the medium requires strong suggestive 
encouragement by her protectress, or by those present, in order to 
overcome the resistance of the inertia. She herself has a feeling of 
requiring some help, and even expresses it by the words " Aide moi, 
Juliette ! " But one of the conditions for the occurrence of positive 
effects is that the intelligent personified factor, felt by her to be an 
independent entity, wishes to manifest itself. She usually expresses 
this by the words, " Je le (or les) sens," or " Je ne le (or les) sens pas." 

It is only when these two factors co-operate that results can be 
expected, but, in spite of the favourable psychical adjustment of the 
medium, her efforts remain fruitless if the presence of the factor referred 
to is not felt during the sitting. 

Finally, there is the possibility of a negative sitting if, in spite of 
every effort, the inertia cannot be overcome. The phenomena brought 
about in Phase II. are mostly feeble, or of medium strength, and are 
always accompanied by strong bodily reactions of the medium (pressing 
and gasping, violent muscular contractions, a quick pulse, and expres- 
sions of pain). 

Although the author has taken into consideration the medium's 
subjective view, it does not follow that that view is correct. On the 
contrary, the observer even gets an impression that the medium 
produces the phenomena on her own initiative alone, especially when 
they consist in the production of simple aggregations and forms. This 
also is suggested by the frequent adaptation of the phenomena to the 
wishes of the sitters, as when they urgently suggest the occurrence of 
some definite phenomena {e.g., a hand, a female or a male face). 

Phase III. — The medium is under the influence of a sort of fit of 
compulsory organic necessity towards psycho-physical emanations. 
This shows itself in a certain confusion of consciousness and a tendency 



152 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

towards spontaneous production. In such cases one must carefully 
postpone the productions until the time of the sitting, or the sittings 
must be arranged as quickly as possible, in order to produce the necessary 
relief. The preparatory symptoms consist of a dazed and dreamy 
state, a feeling of sickness, a veiled gaze and quickened pulse (100 to 
110 beats per minute), a feeling of uneasiness, loss of appetite, and 
sensory symptoms (such as a swelling of the mammary glands). In 
this case the hands are always remarkably cool. 

As soon as the comm.unication is made to the sitters " Elle est prise," 
one can reckon on the certainty of a positive sitting. The phenomena 
in this phase occur immediately after the extinction of the white light, 
and are often perfectly developed — as, for instance, in the form of 
head shapes. In some sittings the author had not even enough time 
to open the cameras, which requires only a few seconds. 

The phenomena thus produced are, as a rule, durable in the light, 
and resist certain interferences, so that one can sometimes take three 
flash-light photographs in succession. 

The production of the phenomena is usually accompanied by a 
great relief for Eva, " Elle est degagee." The sitting therefore acts as 
a liberation, although great exhaustion may follow for twenty-four 
hours. 

But if any complete relief takes place, this may occur after she has 
retired to bed, and take the form of unusual materialisation phenomena, 
sometimes associated with the genital organs. 

In this fitful occurrence of the materialisation impulse, the medium 
is blindly subject to a stronger power, and does not seem to be able 
to resist it by her own will. The subjective factors, mentioned in 
Phases I. and II., are quite placed in the background. 

Instead of this period of active production, we may have a variation 
of the same condition in the shape of a latent tension, lasting for several 
days, and relieved by several minor eruptions of phenomena. If no 
relief is obtained at the sittings, these phenomena may take place 
irregularly during the day (mostly in twilight), or during the sleep at 
night, which then passes into a state of active somnambulism. 

In general, the observer is forced to the assumption that, in the 
production of positive results, an intelligent factor, independent of the 
medium, comes into play, although it seems immaterial whether that 
factor is to be looked for in the medium's subliminal consciousness or 
not. For the purpose of experiment we must take into account this 
apparently independent will-power, and must come to an understanding 
with it concerning the method of procedure. 

There is some justification for speaking of a duplex personality in 
the case of Eva, although it may only be a case of a freer development 
of her psyche in the trance condition. Her manner of expression in 
somnambulism is better, she appreciates the importance of her 
mediumistic performances, and makes an effort (though not always) 
to produce a favourable emotional state by a passive behaviour. She 
usually shows a certain emotional softness, and instinctively reads the 
desires and thoughts of the sitters. There is also a greater suggestibility 
and a more vivid play of imagination. During the phenomena them- 
selves her whole effort is directed towards making them as convincing 



PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA 153 

as possible to the sitters, and towards being strictly controlled. Several 
times she rose from her chair immediately after a production of pheno- 
mena, stood in front of the curtain, and demanded an examination of 
her body and her dress ; or she took a red or white electric torch in 
order to illuminate the phenomena, if they were not sufficiently 
clearly visible for us. Often enough she destroyed the phenomena 
by this procedure. Or, after the end of the sitting, she may demand 
tests which do not even appear necessary to those present. Thus she 
sometimes would undo the tights and ask for a gynaecological 
examination. 

Her relation to Mme. Bisson in somnambulism is that of love, 
attachment, and gratitude. While the waking Eva always addresses 
her protectress respectfully and in the plural, the somnambulist uses 
the singular, and usually calls her " ma petite Juliette." She is anxious 
about Mme. Bisson like a mother about her child. When Mme. Bisson 
is fatigued, or out of humour, she always inquires the cause, gives 
amiable consolation, and wishes to hear her voice. Her attention 
and her detective sense are exaggerated ; nothing escapes her in the 
conversation of the sitters, as her frequent apposite remarks testify. 
The exception from this rule occurs in the states of deep trance during 
production, in which she gives an impression of great suffering, 
resembling the pains of parturition, and is quite occupied with herself. 
On a few occasions I have observed a trace of hysterical supersensi- 
tiveness and affectation. When her nerves are shaken by the shock 
of the sudden flash-light, or when she tries in vain to produce pheno- 
mena, she is soothed by Mme. Bisson touching her hands, and head, 
and the region of her heart. She asks Mme. Bisson to comfort her 
and to help her own efforts, by an exertion of her will-power. 
This whole behaviour is foreign to Eva's character in the waking 
condition, and indicates a difference in the two states of consciousness. 

The presence of her protectress, who has her fullest confidence, 
probably became a psychological necessity for her production in the 
course of the several years of training and habituation. Owing to 
her great lack of will-power in the waking and somnambulistic states 
(often found in mediums), she requires psychic guidance, and constant 
incentive, from without. The importance of the spiritual link joining 
the two women, for the production of phenomena, is easily underrated. 
Mme. Bisson has, so to speak, become an indispensable active psychic 
supplement to her, since she just possesses the qualities lacking in her, 
knows Eva's mentality intimately, and during the frequent incidents 
of the sittings, which would leave any other experimenter helpless, 
she always finds the right means to restore the disturbed psychical 
and physical equilibrium of the medium. 

If, therefore, some savants assert that Mme. Bisson's mere presence 
at the sittings constitutes a source of error, this shows a deplorable 
lack of understanding of the complicated mechanism of the medium- 
istic occurrences, quite apart from the unworthy attempt to cast 
suspicion upon an experimenter, and exclude her from her own work, 
because she is not of the male sex, or has not passed through a regular 
University course. No doubt some other person could undertake the 
part of the hypnotiser, with all its consequences, in the case of this 



154 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

medium, if Eva gradually got accustomed to the other person. I may 
recall that in the first period of the experiments in the Bissons' flat, 
one of Eva's relatives and Baron Pigeard hypnotised the medium, and 
that before the Bisson period a series of sittings took place in the 
residence of an English lady in Paris. 

The hypnotic education which Mme. Bisson has given to her medium 
has been directed systematically towards progress and the higher 
development of the mediumistic faculties, and towards the preservation 
of the suggestive and authoritative state of dependence. Thus she 
has adhered to the rule of hypnotising Eva on the days on which 
materialisation sittings did not take place. If, on the day of the sitting, 
the medium was not favourably disposed, or for other reasons, she 
also hypnotised the medium on the days of the sittings themselves. 
The hypnotic sleep, often prolonged for several hours without experi- 
ments, was also an excellent means of disposing of the symptoms of 
exhaustion, which often followed positive sittings on the next day, 
and also of eliminating slight disturbances of humour and nervous 
affections. That this whole procedure was successful is shown by the 
gradual increase and higher development of the mediumistic perform- 
ances, while the bodily and mental equilibrium of the medium remained 
intact during four years of experiments, which were sometimes very 
fatiguing. 

The mental manifestations of the somnambulist usually took the 
form of automatic writing, or speaking in simple or dramatised form. 
Ostensibly such entities, or personifications, manifested through the 
medium, were regarded by the medium during the materialisation 
sittings as the originators of the phenomena, and as giving rise to the 
objects photographed. During the last month the chief guidance of 
the medium was undertaken by an " entity," calling herself " Bert he." 
This entity was supposed to guide the pointer held in Eva's hand with 
lightning rapidity over the table of letters, while Eva, with closed eyes, 
and without any apparent participation, leant her head against 
Mme. Bisson's shoulder, and appeared quite unable to control the 
composition of letters by her right hand, or to read what she had 
automatically written. Mme. Bisson, even, could hardly keep pace in 
noting down the letters, and, in any case, during this operation she did 
not appreciate the sense of what was being written. The subsequent 
study showed messages giving a connected sense, usually referring to 
a sitting, and giving explanations and instructions as to how to treat 
the medium. 

" Bert he " presents a self-contained psychological existence 
elaborated in detail. Whether she manifests through Eva psychically 
or physically, in both cases her action is relatively less trying for the 
medium than the manifestations of other personifications, especially 
male ones. She also expresses herself, though more rarely, directly 
through the mouth of the somnambulist, and addresses her as a third 
person, so that Eva repeats verbatim what " Berthe " communicates 
to her. " Berthe " is even dissatisfied with Eva's behaviour in a 
waking condition, criticises it intelligently, gives advice how to treat 
Eva, and how to cross her ideas and plans, and promises, on her own 
part, a psychic influence upon her. (Thus, in one case, in compliance 



PSYCHICAL PHENOMENA 155 

with such a promise, she manifested herself miexpectedly in Eva's 
waking state by a sudden semi-somnambulic trance with a complete 
change of disposition.) On several occasions, during the observation 
of Eva's somnambulic inspiration, Mme. Bisson observed a " lucid " 
moment, in which apposite remarks were made concerning occurrences 
beyond the range of the knowledge of the medium. In some cases 
these also referred to future events. I ought to remark that the whole 
material of observation was entered, after every sitting, by Mme. Bisson 
in a note-book, which allowed of an accurate verification afterwards. 
Such utterances always came spontaneously in the form of communi- 
cations from the somnambulist, or from " Berthe," as a product of an 
inspiration originating in the Unconscious. In almost all cases, messages 
of this kind were correct, while answers to questions were usually 
incorrect and unreliable. 

The course of our whole four years of investigation was directed 
towards the impartial record of facts, iminfluenced by any theory. 
We succeeded in gradually liberating the materialisation sittings from 
the influence of the spiritistic tradition (formation of a chain, singing, 
etc.), and we only made such concessions as were indispensable con- 
ditions for success {e.g., dark cabinet, red light, etc.). 

If the results of our objective researches, in spite of ourselves, may 
yet be explained better by a spiritistic theory than in any other way, 
we must put this down to our lack of influence upon the quality of the 
phenomena, not to any bias in the experimenters. Without wishing to 
prejudice this question, the author is of the opinion that, even though 
most of the spiritistic phenomena should turn out to be true, an 
animistic explanation is to be preferred, and that it does, on the 
whole, suffice. 

This remark appears necessary in view of the case now to be related. 
Shortly after the death of M. Bisson a new psychical entity manifested 
itself through Eva in the trance state. It came into play in a very 
sudden manner, and in apparent conflict with the medium, ^vith violent 
defensive motions and convulsive muscular contractions. This personi- 
fication called itself " Alexandre Bisson." It spoke through the mouth 
of the medium, with a deep voice. It only remained for a short time, 
and caused profound bodily exhaustion to the medium. I myself have 
never seen this " incarnation," and only know of it through the reports 
of my collaborator, who, after thirty years of happy marriage, would 
know her husband better and more exactly than any other person. 
Indeed, according to her report, the personification " Bisson " com- 
manded the memory, the language, the mode of expression, and the 
character of her dead husband. Mme. Bisson w^as convinced that she 
was in the presence of the psychic existence of her husband. She 
repeatedly asked him questions which he alone could answer, and his 
answers were always correct. M. Bisson, when alive, stammered, 
especially when in a state of excitement, and this stammering occurred 
in the conversation. 

The commimications of the type " Bisson " referred to his family 
life, to the completion of a drama left unfinished, and to our sittings. 
" Bisson " said we were on the right way, and should not allow ourselves 
to be discouraged by anything from continuing with the investigations. 



156 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

It also appears remarkable that the personification " Bisson " usually 
occurs at " critical " moments. Occasionally there were moments in 
which Mme. Bisson had lost courage, in consequence of the difficulties 
caused by Eva's character, and the opposition offered to her suggestions. 
When inclined to discontinue thc^e investigations, or depressed by 
family troubles, the type " Bisson " regularly appeared, in order to 
console his wife with words known to her in his life. 

We must ask ourselves : " Is it possible for a girl, with Eva's lack of 
education and gifts, to create a true psychic copy of the personality of 
the deceased, and even subconsciously to make his mentality and 
knowledge her own ? " Even assuming an unusually highly-developed 
somnambulic detective sense, such a psychological reconstruction 
would remain a remarkable and puzzling performance. 



Sittings of May and June 19 12 (Paris). 

The new flat. Rue Georges Sand 33, contained two completely separated 
rooms, one of which was used entirely for the sittings, and could be 
locked, so that, besides the sitters, nobody had access to it in the absence 
of the observers, not even the servants. 

The dark cabinet was now in the corner opposite the window. The 
photographic cameras were momited in the usual way. One camera 
was placed in the cabinet to the right of the medium's chair, and the 
rest outside. 

The author intended to use here, for the first time, a kinematograph 
(Pathe Freres), and in order to provide for the necessary illumination 
by a projection apparatus, he had caused a special cable to be laid. 
But the experiment was attended by such extraordinary and unexpected 
difficulties that the plan was not carried out in the first instance. 

The author was piesent at the construction of the cabinet. It 
consisted of two side walls joining in a corner and a roof, all provided 
with a black lining. The floor of the cabinet was also covered with 
black. In front of the curtains a carpet was nailed to the parquet 
floor, in order to avoid unnecessary noise by walking during the sittings. 
The accompanying Diagram gives the necessary details (Diagram VI.) 



Sitting of the 5th May 1912. 

Present. — Mme. Bisson and the author. 

Negative. 

Illumination by five red lamps, eighty to one hundred candle-power. 
The dress of the medium and control, as in the Rue Victor Hugo. 
Hypnotisation by Mme. Bisson. During somnambulism Eva was 
extremely timid. The whole surroundings appeared strange to her. 



SITTINGS OF MAY AND JUNE 1912 (PARIS) 157 



Sitting of the 6th May 1912. 

Present. — Mme. Bisson, the author and his wife. 

The dress and control of the medium and the cabinet were as in 
previous sittings. 






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o 



u 



Z/^Grape/j//7^ 



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Diagram VI. 



158 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

Strong and loud expirations and gasps were heard. After about 
forty-five minutes there appeared above Eva's head a white shape 
the size of a fist, then a hght-coloured smoke-Hke wisp issuing from her 
mouth. Then we saw, in the gap of the curtains, sometimes from the 
left, sometimes from the right, a white shape resembling a hand, some- 
times looking like a clenched fist, and sometimes like several bent 
fingers. The phenomena were obviously independent of her body, and 
followed each other so rapidly that the time was too short for a photo- 
graph. For the half-hour during which the phenomena lasted the 
medium's hands remained clasping the curtain, and were continually 
exposed to the red light. 

Final examination negative. 



Sitting of the 8th May 1912. 

Present. — JNIme. Bisson, the author and his wife. 

Dresr, illumination, and control as on 6th May. Commencement, 
9.30 P.M. 

Loud and long-continued expirations during the first twenty minutes. 
At the opening of the curtains a mask-like face was seen attached to 
the medium's back hair. It resembled a half-soft pulp, traversed by 
softer material, and kneaded into shape. Only the forehead and eyes 
were recognisable, which gave the impression of a female face. This 
shape was seen, sometimes to the right and sometimes to the left of 
the medium (on her shoulders), and sometimes appeared to detach 
itself from her body and remain freely suspended, while her head and 
hands were under visible control. The author also observed that this 
form three times inclined forwards, though he could not tell whether 
Eva's head moved simultaneously. The structure moved forward once 
as far as the curtain gap. Once it subsided on Eva's head. While the 
lower part touched her hair, the upper part sank slowly backwards, as 
if the formation was about to flatten itself out and cover Eva's head 
as with a veil. I succeeded in photographing the peculiar formation 
on Eva's right shoulder. After the flash-light the sitting had to be 
closed. 

Final examination of the medium and the cabinet negative. 

The photographs (Figs. 81, 82 and 83) show a remarkable half- 
finished structure arrested in its development. It is fastened to the 
hair of the back of Eva's head on the right, and does not appear to 
exceed in size the face of a new-born baby or a fairly large doll. 

If we wished to make a comparison, we might say as follows : — 
The whole thing looks like a half-finished sketch of a female face-mask 
from nature, composed of pulp and softened cardboard and fragments 
of veil-like material, or perhaps made of a special mass resembling 
plasticine. The forehead, cheeks, nose, and eyes, and the upper face 
generally, are sufficiently finished to recognise the intention of the 
modeller to compose a female face. Where the point of the nose should 
be, a break goes right across the face, dividing it into two storeys, the 
lower storey being pushed backwards in comparison with the upper. 




Fig. 8i. Author's flashlight photograph of « May, 1912. 




Fig. 82. Enlargement of portion of Fig. 81. 




Fig. S3. Lateral view of Fig. 81 taken inside cabinet, with enlakgement. 





Figs. 84 and 85. Author's flashlight photographs of 14 .May, 1912. 
Fig. 84. Front view. Fig. 85. View from the left. 



SITTINGS OF MAY AND JUNE 1912 (PARIS) 159 

but under the rents and creases and fragments we can distinctly see a 
mouth, with broad lips and the left part of the chin (magnified front 
photograph of the 18 by 24 inches camera). The left side is out of 
drawing, and the left eye squints. 

The face is surrounded by fabric in the stereoscopic photograph, 
and shows a distinct low relief, like a sculptural sketch for the mask 
of a female head. The surface of the formation is covered by numerous 
folds, holes, and creases, while the lower half appears to consist of 
several broadcloth or paper bands unfolded, placed one upon the 
other, and organically joined and felted up with a veiling material. 
A crumpled mask, such as can be bought, would have a more complete 
appearance, and would hardly be organically connected with cloth 
fragments and veils, as is the case with the present structure. 



Sittings of the 10th and 11th May 1912. 

Negative. 

Sitting of the 14th May 1912. 

Present. — Mme. Bisson and the author. 

Conditions as in previous sittings. 

During the hypnosis, on the 13th May, Mme. Bisson had sugges- 
tively prepared Eva for to-day's sitting, so that she was more favourably 
disposed. 

About a quarter of an hour after hypnotisation a long veil-like 
strip of matter appeared, covering first the medium's breast and then 
the left upper arm, with a large part hanging down over her dress on 
the left. This strip, about a yard long and about half a yard wide, 
and resembling fine muslin, was fixed on the back of the curtain at 
Eva's left, while her hands remained fixed to the curtain, and it was 
repeatedly seen in the light, quite separated from her body. 

Although a round globular mass showed itself several times, we 
could not recognise any features. Yet Eva pointed with a finger to 
the structure opposite her, and said, " Don't you see ? Here's the 
nose, here's the mouth, etc." 

When the white round form appeared clearly in the curtain gap 
I ignited the flash-light. 

Sitting closed. Final examination negative. 

Before the sitting Eva weighed not quite 120 lbs. After the sitting 
she weighed 119 lbs., though there were slight oscillations of the balance, 
owing to her restlessness. 

Aji examination of the photographs (Figs. 84 and 85) taken at this 
sitting shows that Eva's hands grasped the curtain at about the level 
of her knees, and that 3 or 4 feet above, rather higher than the 
level of her head, there is a white elongated shape, which looks like a 
cloud. On the stereoscopic picture, which is rather more successful, 
is seen a white compact mass emerging from the left curtain, to the 



160 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

back of which the invisible portion of this shape might be fixed, although 
in the front view the left margin of the material does not seem to touch 
the curtain on the same side. Whether this structure, 8 inches long 
and 4 inches wide, consists entirely of the primitive elementary sub- 
stance of materialisations, or veil-like or other stuff, cannot be judged 
from the photographs alone. The medium's head was over 3 feet 
behind the form, and for the first time in the series of experiments we 
have succeeded in photographing this material, apparently used for 
forming heads and faces, quite separated from the medium, and 
apparently freely suspended in the curtain gap. 



Sitting of the 15th May 1912, 

Present. — Mme. Bisson and the author. 

Conditions as before. 

In order to make the conditions of control still more rigid, Mme. 
Bisson allowed me to search her from head to foot before the sitting, 
so as to dispose of the allegation that she could have supplied any 
objects to the medium in the cabinet for producing the phenomena. 
Eva was not favourably disposed on this day. When the first half-hour 
had passed, without result, there were no indications of a positive 
action by the medium, so Mme. Bisson began to talk to Eva, urging her 
to put an end to this condition of indifference by an energetic con- 
centration of the will, and the direction of the attention to the occurrence 
of phenomena. Eva then asked her : " Venez, Juliette, me tenir la 
tete," and Mme. Bisson entered the cabinet and touched the forehead 
and neck of the medium about one minute with her hands. 

After we had again made urgent requests for positive efforts, we 
saw at last (about one hour after the sitting commenced), in her lap, 
a packet of white material, which moved and finally assumed a rough 
outline of a white female arm, lying across her lap, while the medium's 
hands held the curtain. 

The author then expressed a wish to be allowed to touch this sub- 
stance. Eva then brought my right hand towards the mass, but with 
obvious reluctance and instinctive fear. The author touched a firm, 
cool, moist mass, which, however, disappeared at his touch as if by 
magic. 

Some white amorphous material appeared several times in her lap, 
but Eva's power did not seem to suffice for any further development 
of the phenomena, so that the sitting had to be closed. 

Final control negative. The medium weighed, before the sitting, 
119 lbs. ; afterwards, 120 lbs. 



Sitting of the 17th May 1912. 

Present. — Mme. Bisson and the author. 

Eva's weight before and after the sitting was 118 lbs. Conditions 
as usual. 





C5 M 





Figs. ?8 and 89. Flashlight photographs of 21 May, 1912. 
Left : First photograph. Right : Second photograph. 



SITTINGS OF MAY AND JUNE 1912 (PARIS) 161 

While the medium's hands held the curtains half open, a grey 
smoke-like wisp, some 8 or 10 inches long, appeared to emerge from 
the medium's mouth, accompanied by convulsive groans and long- 
drawn expirations. Towards the end it gradually became denser and 
whiter, and from this end there emerged the unmistakable outlines of 
four obviously flat white fingers of middle size, which were kept in 
constant motion, as if by a draught, and changed their shape every 
moment. When the curtain was opened wide the material was separated 
off, and became visible first on the shoulder and then, in a very remark- 
able shape, on the head, giving an impression of white. 

The electric contact was pressed and a photograph taken. The 
medium was exhausted, and the sitting came to an end. Final examina- 
tion negative. 

The grey shape visible on the photographs (Fig. 86) lies on the middle 
of the medium's head, and resembles an old felt slipper bent backwards, 
but of miniature size. The stereoscopic picture shows Eva's feet, also 
in felt slippers. By its appearance and quality this picture is quite 
out of the run of the series of observations, which show a more or less 
uniform tendency of development. 



Sitting of the 20th May 1912. 

Present. — Mme. Bisson and the author. 

Conditions as usual. Examination, also, of Mme. Bisson, as on the 
15th May. 

In this sitting the phenomena took approximately the same course 
as in the last. White wisps and balls on the lap and shoulder, and the 
mouth phenomenon as described on 17th May. The material attached 
itself again to the back of the left curtain, and sometimes passed beyond 
the hem of the curtain into the circle of light. The request to take hold 
of a proffered cigarette was not fulfilled. In her efforts to carry out 
the request, Eva moved the curtains pretty rapidly to and fro. I saw 
distinctly, from my place near the right curtain, that the white mass 
was drawn to and fro with the left curtain, as if it was attached to it. 
When the mass reappeared on the left shoulder I took a photograph, 
and the sitting came to an end. 

The photograph (Fig. 87) taken in this sitting is very similar to the 
last. Again an object resembling a slipper, which appeared to me 
white, comes out grey in the photograph. It lies on the left shoulder, 
and is apparently held with the mouth. The long bag-shaped object 
broadens out backwards. 

The similarity of the object to that photographed in the last sitting 
is too striking to be overlooked. Both shapes belong to the same 
kind, and show on the whole the same composition and design, without 
being absolutely identical. In the course of the sittings we observed 
repeatedly that the tendency towards identical forms continued over 
several sittings. This experience was repeated later in the case of face 
formations, whose type and chief characteristics were sometimes 
preserved for several successive sittings. 



162 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

Sitting of the 21st May 1912. 

Present. — Mme. Bisson, her younger son, and the author. 

Conditions as usual. 

On this day Mme. Bisson did not enter the cabinet during the whole 
sitting. After somnambulism had set in we heard loud expirations and 
stertorous breathing. 

The white material first seen on the medium's lap is again supported 
behind the left curtain, exposing itself to the light from time to time. 
The impression given was as if Eva rolled up the curtain with the fingers 
of her left hand and drew it back slightly at the same time. On opening 
her hand, the curtain fell back over the image. This process indicates 
a fixation of the object or image on the inside of the curtain. We 
saw the features of an imperfectly-formed face, which, on account of 
its favourable position, I photographed (Figs. 88 and 89) three times, 
changing the plates after each exposure. I then saw a long white frag- 
ment, and had the impression as if the face were suspended in mid-air, 
subsequently moving back towards Eva's head, in order to lie on her 
hair. Eva asked us to give her the red electric torch, and illuminated 
the rather flat image, from which a number of flakes and fibres hung down, 
resembling white curls made up of thick cotton thread. 

After this occurrence the author sat inside the cabinet on the floor, 
with Eva's consent, in order to observe any further phenomena from 
the back. Unfortunately, the medium was too exhausted to continue 
the sitting. I then entered the cabinet before anybody else and 
examined Eva over the whole skin. Nowhere could I find anything 
suspicious, neither on her body nor in the cabinet. Sitting closed. 

All three series of photographic records show pictures of the same 
object. 

This day's type of face corresponds in its structure and its com- 
position to that of 14tli May. While the latter was attached to Eva's 
hair, to-day's structure is quite detached from the medium's body, 
and is obviously attached to the curtain inside, or supported by it. 

In the second series the face appears in the same place, and in the 
stereoscopic photographs gives the impression of free suspension, but 
that may be an optical illusion, as a fold of the curtain, pushed back 
by the medium's left hand, furnishes a support for the image. The 
hem of the curtain projecting forward throws a shadow on the image. 

The whole form of the object recalls a first sketch of a face in wet 
plaster or papier mdchL We find the same building up of the face in 
storeys as on 14th May. The face terminates in the upper lip, the 
lower part being displaced backwards and showing a gaping hole — at 
least, in Series I. The eyes are just recognisable, the bridge of the nose 
is twice broken, or at least traversed, by two great rents. The whole 
consists of a conglomeration of fragments of an unknown mass, like the 
sketch of a face-mask in low relief. The structure is flat, like that of 
14th May. 

The photographs of the second and third series closely resemble 
those of the first, differing only in details. Thus, in the second series, 
a deep rent appears on the right cheek, which is absent in Series I. 



SITTINGS OF MAY AND JUNE 1912 (PARIS) 163 

To-day's experience is interesting, inasmuch as in the sittings from 
14th to 21st May the same type recurs with extremely characteristic 
faults and imperfections. 



Sitting of the 24th May 1912. 
Negative. 

Sitting of the 25th May 1912. 

Present. — Mme. Bisson and the author. 

Strict examination of both women and the cabinet before the 
sitting, as on 15th May 1912. Illumination and other conditions as in 
previous sittings. 

Since the weight of the medium, both before and after the sittings, 
showed no material change, these weighings were not continued. 

Commencement, 9.15 p.m. Bodily reactions indicate positive per- 
formances. Half an hour after hypnotisation a white patch was seen 
at the level of the medium's head on the back of the left curtain, and 
after Eva's left hand had several times carefully rolled up the curtain. 
The patch turned out to be a flat white hand, with wrist and part of an 
arm, attached to the curtain in such a way that the fingers hung down. 
The author had the personal impression of a lifeless form without motion 
of its own. By pulling in or rolling up the curtain three fingers were 
made clearly visible. The phenomenon was observed more easily from 
my place than from that of Mme. Bisson. Since I perceived no motion, 
I saw no chance of a proffered cigarette being grasped. The shape of 
the hand was elongated. It appeared mummified and shrivelled, and 
was provided with extraordinarily long and pointed fingers. In thick- 
ness it appeared flat, but thicker than a hand shape made of leather or 
paper. Its thickness might have been about one-fifth of an inch. 
Shortly afterwards some fingers appeared at the same level, but this 
time they were alive, and grasped the curtain inside and out. My 
whole attention was turned towards Eva's left hand, and when the 
curtain was withdrawn again I saw the flat hand-formation on her left 
knee instead of the real hand. There is hardly a doubt that the living 
fingers grasping the curtain were those of Eva. This situation, already 
photographed at St Jean de Luz, is psychologically explained by the 
endeavour to fulfil our wish for the grasping of a cigarette. Since the 
flat lifeless shape did not suffice for this, the somnambulist exchanged 
the parts of the living and the lifeless hand. 

Doubts of this kind were just passing through my head when a new 
phenomenon attracted my attention. Both Eva's hands were clearly 
visible on her knees, when suddenly a third hand, coming from the left, 
crossed Eva's left hand, touched it on the back with the finger-tips, and 
then quickly withdrew. This phenomenon occurred several times in 
succession, but so quickly that I did not succeed in taking a photograph 
of it. 



164 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

These two contradictory events happened in close succession, and 
were observed with equal exactness and impartiality. In the course 
of the sitting the curtain-rod suddenly came loose, so that it hung down. 
Yet I tried to photograph the hand. The photographs failed on account 
of the disturbance mentioned. Only the stereoscopic transparency 
shows how Eva's left hand opens the curtain widely, and how she looks 
back towards the back of the cabinet. One sees a white elongated shape 
with fingers recalling a long female glove attached to the back wall, 
but no such thing was found during a strict search of the medium and 
the cabinet. The object had disappeared without a trace. 

Close of the sitting, 11 p.m. Final examination negative. 

Sittings of the 27th, 28th and 30th May 1912. 
Negative. 

Sitting of the 1st June 1912. 

Present. — Mme. Bisson and the author. 

Commencement, 8.45 ; end, 10.30 p.m. 

On this day Mme. Bisson hypnotised the medium at 5 p.m. in 
preparation for the evening's sitting. The personification calling herself 
" Berthe "—the controlling spirit in the spiritistic sense — announced 
through the somnambulist's mouth extraordinary phenomena for 
to-day's sitting. " Berthe " would endeavour to show us the head of 
a person closely related to us, and would, if possible, appear simul- 
taneously. She would see if we would recognise her. 

Before the sitting Eva had a dreamy and dazed expression, and 
already showed a quickened pulse two hours beforehand. The definite 
announcement of a positive result induced us to make the examination 
of the medium and the cabinet as thorough and as strict as possible. 
As in all previous sittings, the medium undressed completely and put 
on the black seance costume, consisting of tights and dress. 

Illumination with red light, aggregating about one hundred candle- 
power. 

Eva had hardly been hypnotised on her chair by Mme. Bisson when 
she breathed loudly and stertorously, with every sign of deep trance. 
The teleplastic creative process commenced at once. At the place in 
the curtain which had been made familiar by practice, and in which 
the phenomena had shown themselves at the last sittings, i.e., on the 
inside of the left curtain, at about the level of the medium's head, a 
white luminosity, as of a strip of muslin 20 inches long, became visible. 
Eva then tried gradually to expose the image to the light by rolling up 
the left curtain flap with her left hand, and thus gradually allowing 
the red light to fall upon the object, obviously fixed inside. 

To my greatest astonishment I seemed to recognise in the masculine 
face, shown with the well-kno^\^l drapery of veiling, but sketched as 
with black chalk on a fiat surface, the features of Alexandre Bisson, 
the husband of my collaborator, who had died in January 1912. 





Fig. qo and qi. Author's flashlight photograph of i June, 1912 (second series), 



On the right : enlargement. 




Fig. 92. Author's third flashlight photograph of i June, 1912. 
Portrait of M. Bisson. 



SITTINGS OF MAY AND JUNE 1912 (PARIS) 165 

Although I saw that she had immediately recognised her husband and 
showed deep emotion, I was not certain of my impression, and con- 
sidered the possibility of a self-deception. As soon as the face showed 
itself again, I ignited the flash-light by means of the electric contact 
in my hand. After changing the plates, I succeeded in taking two 
further photographs, so that out of the three series of photographs, 
taken with five cameras, nine successful photographs are available for 
study, the remaining photographs having been unsuccessful. Before 
the third flash-light the object appeared smaller than before the first. 
Mme. Bisson claimed to have recognised two he^ds during the first 
exposure — a male head and underneath a female head (the portrait 
of the entity " Berthe ") — and this was corroborated on developing 
the plates. The pictures of the third series only contained one face. 

The pictures (Figs. 90, 91, 92 and 93) recall face-masks artistically 
composed with clever veil drapery, but without any signs of real life, 
in spite of the greatest portrait resemblance. Besides, no plastic 
development of the features could be established with any certainty 
either in the sittings or from the photographs, while the base of the 
pictures appears to me to resemble paper. The transition towards the 
pictorial representation of the face proceeded in stages, since in the 
beginning, as in previous sittings, the only thing to be seen was material 
in rather large veils and fragments, with which Eva would sometimes 
cover her own face. 

In spite of the three flash-light exposures, the phenomena continued. 
The structure now appeared on the left shoulder. Eva illuminated it 
first with the red and then with the white electric torch, but the image, 
in which I distinctly perceived a male bearded face, with a high fore- 
head, would not suffer the light, and disappeared behind the back of 
Eva's chair towards the back of the cabinet, without Eva having changed 
the position of her hands. Since I had closely followed the image from 
the shoulder, I did not let it go out of sight, but rose and put my head 
deep into the cabinet, bending over Eva as she sat quietly, and keeping 
the curtain closed under my chin. In this way a ray of light passed 
over my head, through the top of the curtain, on to the back of the 
cabinet, without disturbing the medium. The male face then stood 
facing me like a male portrait in life-size, fixed on the back wall, 
remained for about six seconds, and then revolved about its own axis 
flat on the wall, the upper part of the face falling down, and finally dis- 
appeared towards the floor behind the medium's back. During this 
whole observation Eva's body was motionless, and under my observa- 
tion. The image was entirely separated from her. Its motion and 
disappearance appeared to be under the control of an unseen power. 

Thus ended this extremely remarkable sitting, during which 
Mme. Bisson had not entered the cabinet at all. Eva rose from her 
chair and stood in front of the curtain. She tore open the seam joining 
the black tights to the dress, so that I could make a complete bodily 
examination. Again I searched her with the greatest care, made her 
open her mouth, examined her hair and ears, and performed a gynaeco- 
logical examination, without finding anything either on her body or 
on the seance costume. The subsequent examination of the cabinet 
was also negative. The image I had seen falling had totally disappeared. 



166 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

Eva was much indisposed after the sitting, and several times vomited 
blood — about a wine-glass full, mixed with food remnants. She also 
complained of headache. The condition of exhaustion lasted several 
days. 

The author was, as usual, present at the development of the plates. 
The first and second series showed two faces, one above the other — a 
male face above and a female face below — while the third series only 
showed a male face. The remarkable similarity of the male face to 
that of the late author, Alex. Bisson, is immediately obvious. Proofs 
of the photographs sent to members of the family were recognised by 
all the relatives (wife, four children, etc.) and friends of M. Bisson, as 
his portrait at the age of about thirty-eight. When Eva saw the 
pictures she fainted. The author made some tests himself, and showed 
the pictures to persons who had known Bisson in his life. These persons 
also recognised the deceased at first sight. 

The third exposure shows the complete life-sized face of a bearded 
man, with his head bent towards the left, and directing a look full of 
expression upon us from behind the curtain. The curtain covers half 
the left eye. Eye-glasses are distinctly seen on the eyes. Several 
veil-like fragments hang down from the right side of the head. From 
the point of the nose, part of the mouth, and nearly the whole beard, 
are covered by partly transparent material hanging down for a length 
of from 8 to 12 inches. 

Among the remarkable characteristics we may mention the high 
broad forehead, the straight line of the hair, the deep-set eye-sockets, 
the vivacity and cleverness of the eyes, and the short sight (glasses), 
all being peculiarities of the late M. Bisson, as may also be seen by 
comparison with extant photographs. A closer examination of the 
stereoscopic picture also shows that the corner of the mouth, visible on 
it, is directed downwards as in photographs from life. 

The beard is comparatively long. In portraits from life, M. Bisson' s 
beard is rather shorter. But at various times in his life M. Bisson wore 
his beard in various shapes and lengths, so that this point is not 
important. 

The first and second series of photographs, which show, below 
Bisson's portrait, the pretty features of a young woman, reproduce the 
same sketch of a face corresponding in every detail to the photograph 
just discussed (Figs. 90 and 91). Only the draping of the veiling is 
different. The veil in this case covers the greatest part of the hair of 
the head, and hangs down in streamers quite a yard long, which form, 
in the middle, a fairly compact mass, part of which was photographed 
by the camera inside the cabinet, i.e., from behind (Fig. 93). 

The partly transparent veils are themselves thickened at the hems, 
and show a pattern of parallel fibres. 

The female face, the deeper shading of which suggests the beginning 
of a plastic modelling, has regular and good features, though its expres- 
sion may be described as rigid. Both these faces, placed one above 
the other, are lacking in the finer half-shadows, which are, for instance, 
expressed so clearly in the medium's face beside them. 

We have, therefore, here to deal with flat images draped with veil 
material, with artistic sketches, soft charcoal, or other black and white 



SITTINGS OF MAY AND JUNE 1912 (PARIS) 167 

drawings, but not with photographs from nature or reproductions of 
photographs, though the portraits themselves have a natural expression. 
Quite apart from the fact that no photograph of Bisson exists in half- 
profile with the expression and position of our pictures (as shown by 
inquiries within the family), the sketchiness of the drawings, and the 
lack of fine modelling of the face, speak against the possible use of a 
photograph. Thus, even the worst photographic reproduction would 
never give the outlines of the eye-glasses in such an irregular, half- 
finished and distorted way as is shown in our pictures. The same 
remarks apply to other details when closely examined, e.g., the artistic 
treatment of the beard, the eye-sockets, the forehead, etc. While in 
the photographs from life both eyebrows make a straight line, in our 
pictures they proceed in obtuse angles upward and outward. In spite 
of the obvious defects of drawing, the liveliness of the expression, 
especially of the eyes, is not surpassed in any extant photograph. And 
it was just the intelligent vivacious eye which distinguished Bisson's 
physiognomy. Very characteristic of the deceased was the breadth 
and shortness of his nose. If one of his photographs had been used, 
how was it that this particularly characteristic part was covered ? 
There would be no sense in it, but we find the same principle in other 
materialisation photographs. Perhaps the rendering of this part offers 
special difficulties for the teleplastic projections. Or the artistic intelli- 
gence made a special point of showing in the face sufficient characteristic 
traits to ensure recognition, and of saving any further unnecessary and 
superfluous additions for the sake of economy of power. Thus the 
contrasts between the vivacious expression of the face on the one hand, 
and the imperfection and lack of details on the other, would be explained 
by this impressionistic tendency. 

As regards the position of the medium's head in the photographs 
taken from the interior of the cabinet, Bisson's portrait and the stereo- 
scopic pictures show that the upper part of her body is about 3 feet 
behind the images, and completely separated from them, while the 
hands are visible at the curtain in all the pictures. The lateral view 
from within the cabinet is of special interest as giving a section of a 
portion of the teleplastic creation from behind, with an estimated 
diameter of 6 inches. 

The result of the sitting of 1st June 1912 is probably one of the 
most interesting results of our four years of observation, always supposing 
that fraudulent manipulations were excluded by the experimental 
arrangements. We are face to face with the fact that the features of 
a deceased person are reconstructed in a portrait by mediumistic power. 
The injurious effect which a fact of this kind, with its apparent fulfilment 
of the far-reaching hopes of spiritualism may exercise on superstitious 
minds, must not be underestimated. For this and other reasons we 
refrain from any theoretical interpretation of the fact, and confine our- 
selves to a simple record of the observations. 



Sitting of the 4th June 1912. 
Negative. 



J 



168 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

Sitting of the 5th June 1912. 

Before the beginning of this day's experiment, Bisson's three sons 
appeared in the seance room (the eldest is employed in the Ministry of 
Finance, the second is an airman, and the third is a thirteen-year-old 
schoolboy) to express their thanks for copies of the photographs, and 
their deep emotion on beholding the features of their late father, obtained 
in so remarkable a manner. Another visitor was a painter, R. M., a 
friend of Bisson's of twenty years' standing, who presented his con- 
gratulations on the success of the sitting of 1st June. He also, at the 
first glance, had recognised his friend from the picture. 

Present. — Mme. Bisson, her son Pierre, and the author. 

Conditions as in previous sittings. 

About fifteen minutes after hypnotisation I saw a long white wisp 
or veil, which appeared to come from the back wall of the cabinet, and 
hung down over Eva's left shoulder. This gradually advanced, as 
could be seen on the repeated opening of the curtains, until finally the 
features of a female face were seen in the upper portion. While the 
medium's hands were quiet and visible, the head, with its tail of long 
veiling, moved up along the left hem of the curtain, as if the head were 
creeping up, until it nearly reached the curtain-pole (9 feet up), and then 
rapidly descended. A photographic record was made with a flash-light. 

A white hand also appeared at the curtain, and when Mme. Bisson 
approached her head, she was pulled by the hair, while Eva's hands 
remained visible. On closer inspection I recognised the same glove-like 
form which we had observed and photographed on 25th May 1912. 
This ended the sitting. Final examination without result. 
i V The negatives of to-day's sitting (Fig. 94) show the same female 
type of face as that photographed on 1st June with M. Bisson, and they 
appear in the same favourite place on the back of the left curtain. By 
mounting a stereoscopic apparatus just opposite at the right curtain, I 
had succeeded in getting a front view of the face only half-illuminated 
behind the curtain, whereas the other cameras, owing to the slanting 
position of the head, only show a distorted picture. 

The position of the head is vertical, and at right angles to the 
curtain, which is touched by the left ear. The nice-looking female face, 
with its natural expression, is now undoubtedly in low relief, and is 
surrounded by fabrics, wisps, and fragments, which fall over the face 
down to the mouth. A rich bundle of the finest veil -like fabric hangs 
down on to Eva's left shoulder, and four white finger-tips project from 
it, obviously belonging to the hand which we observed during the sitting. 

The side view taken from within the cabinet corroborates this 
picture, and shows that the fingers look flat, as if cut out of paper, and 
are quite irregularly formed. 

As regards the modelling of the face, the nose appears to be dis- 
tinctly developed, and to project in the right proportion. In the same 
way the eye-sockets, mouth and chin appear to be plastic impressions, 
like the work of a competent artist. The shadows of the face are strong, 
deep, and correctly arranged. 





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Fig. 93. Photograph of a cross section of Fig. 90, 
taken inside the cabinet. 




Fig. 96. Side view of Fig 95, taken within the cabinet. 



OBSERVATIONS IN JUNE AND JULY 1912 (PARIS) 169 

The extremely fine veiling stuff resembles a spider's web, and bears 
a remarkable likeness to the productions of the medium Stanislava P. 



Observations in June and July 1912 (Paris). 

From 12th to 24th June there were chiefly negative sittings, or positive 
ones with slight results. Only on 24th June Mme. Bisson succeeded in 
taking a new photograph. This sitting was attended by Dr Bourdet 
(an author), his wife, and young Pierre Bisson. In the face shown, 
Mme. Bisson recognised the features of her deceased nephew, Georges 
Thurner, a literary man. She succeeded in taking the photograph with 
three cameras, which confirmed the observation. In a letter of 
1st July, she communicates the following : " Yesterday I showed the 
photograph of 24th June to my sister (the mother of Georges), without 
telling her anything or making any remark. The impression made upon 
her was an unexpectedly violent one. She exclaimed, ' Georges, my 
dear son, it is you ! My God, my God, how wonderful, and yet how 
terrible I ' Then she broke into sobs and tears." 

Similar emotions were produced by the appearance of the portrait 
in the case of a grandmother and an aunt of the deceased. 

At my request, INIme. Bisson asked her sister to give her a statement 
in writing, and this is as follows : — 

" My Dear Juliette, 

" Immediately on seeing the photograph I recognised my 
deceased son Georges. I am grateful to have a proof that he thinks of 
me, and am looking forward to seeing him again some day. 

" Yours, with all my heart, 
" Eugenie." 

After these statements, one is justified in assuming that the picture 
obtained on 24th June bears a close resemblance to the deceased 
Georges Thurner. 

The technical composition of this image (Fig. 95) is extremely 
curious. A comparison of the stereoscopic transparency with the side 
view and the front view shows very clearly two layers in the structure. 
The upper and outer layer exposed to the light shows a clean-cut surface, 
consisting of a thin layer resembling paper, and in its size and its outline 
corresponds to a life-sized male face with a long beard, beyond which 
it projects below. On this surface are two projections, one in the place 
of the right moustache, and the other in the place of the lower beard 
on the right. The lower one is bent upwards. The lower termination 
of the surface is straight, as if cut off with a knife. On this groundwork, 
which appears to be fixed to the left curtain, there is the drawing of a 
man's face, from twenty-five to thirty-five years of age, in half profile, 
with eyes turned towards the left, and generally resembling a brown 
charcoal drawing. A striking, and, at first sight, rather strange pecu- 
liarity, is a deep indentation running parallel to the mouth across the 
whole beard, from which two other indentations descend, in parallel 
lines, to the lower edge. The one on the left crosses the horizontal 



170 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

indentation, makes a deep cut, and disappears in the white of the left 
cheek. The rectangular and parallel character of the crease is even 
visible on the back of the lower portion (Fig. 96), so that the whole 
structure resembles a rectangular balloon. 

The lower layer of this whole head-composition projects beyond the 
leaf -shaped upper layer in an irregular shape below, covers the whole 
back of the picture, as shown by the side view, and appears at the right 
forehead with a fold as of a transparent veil. The visible hair of the 
right side and the point of the nose are plastically added to the drawing 
to increase the vivacity of the expression. 

On the forehead the veil is twisted up into a thick cord, which 
replaces the bridge of the nose, and passes into the tip of the nose. 
Whether the dark broad full beard is drawn or composed of the dark 
substance previously mentioned cannot be decided from the photo- 
graphs. The principles of formation are the same as in the other 
pictures. The author of this head is less concerned with anatomical 
accuracy and technical completion than with the psychical expression. 
In spite of the simple realism in the use of the means of presentation 
(drawing supported by sculptural presentation and decorative veil 
ornaments), the desired impression is produced, and the essential 
character is maintained. 

The short, straight, tight-closed mouth, with comparatively large 
nostrils, strong bushy eyebrows, the earnest eyes turned towards the 
left (which, however, are very badly drawn), in connection with the long 
square beard, give to the portrait the expression of manly dignity, 
severity, and decision. It is just this production which, more than 
many other pictures of our collection, combines the negative and 
positive qualities of the unkno^\^l artist, as regards technical construc- 
tion, use of material, and artistic treatment. 

In the sitting of 21st June (also held in the author's absence) 
Mme. Bisson perceived three types ; first, the type of her deceased 
nephew, Georges ; second, the type " Berthe " ; third, the type of her 
deceased husband, Alex. Bisson. Of the latter, she succeeded in 
making a new portrait, which is quite different from that made by the 
author on 1st June. While the author's photograph is three-quarter 
face, we find on 21st June a full-faced portrait. Although both negatives 
represent the same object, they have hardly any common characteristic, 
and on the negative on 21st June the eye-glasses are wanting. 

Mme. Bisson is of the opinion that the photograph of 21st June 
represents her husband, as he was in the last years of his life, while the 
pictures of 1st June represent an earlier period of his life. 

Now we might ask : Is this a portrait of the deceased at all ? The 
author can answer this question in the affirmative by what he remembers 
of Bisson, and after the study of photographs. The picture (Fig. 97) 
shows the following : — 

Eva's distorted face is turned to the right, while the portrait 
appears to lie on the left side of her head, or to be attached to it. The 
sharply contoured head is drawn in broad lines under the thick trans- 
parent veil, covering the whole flat surface. It is drawn as if by a 
heavy awkward hand of a sculptor making a charcoal drawing. The 
hair is wanting, or is entirely covered by the veil. The line of the 




Fig. 97. M.ME. Bisson's flashlight photograph of 21 June, 1912. 





Fig. 99. Side view of 

Fig. 98 TAKEN FROM 
WITHIN THE CABINET. 



Fig. 98. Mme. Bisson's flashlight photograph of 
6 July, 1912. 



OBSERVATIONS IN JUNE AND JULY 1912 (PARIS) 171 

eyebrows here also makes an obtuse angle, instead of being straight, 
as in the photographs from life. The eye-sockets, especially the left 
one, are so strongly marked by deep dark shadows that one might 
describe them as plastic. The expression of the eyes is extremely 
vivacious, especially in the left eye, which is less covered by veils. The 
nose appears to be rudimentary, and only a stump is seen. On the 
other hand, the falling line of the bushy moustache corresponds exactly 
to the photographs from life, and the building of the forehead, the 
eye-sockets, and especially the eyes, removes all doubt as regards the 
resemblance to Bisson. A piece of material resembling paper projects 
from the veil below. The arched forehead appears as if split by a broad 
vertical fissure in the middle. There are also three parallel creases 
crossing it downwards at equal intervals. The lower portion of the face 
vanishes under the veils. 

In this production, also, an artistic will has attempted to materialise 
its interpretation, and has strongly emphasised the main points, in 
order to produce the desired resemblance, with the least expenditure 
of power. The present portrait is no doubt designed from nature, 
and not after photographs. In spite of its coarse imperfections it 
produces a much more living impression than the reproductions from 
life. The technical treatment is exactly the same as in previous pictures. 

The production of two entirely different types of images of the 
same deceased person, without any help from existing photographs, 
must, in any case, be recognised as a very remarkable mediumistic 
performance. 

In the sitting of 6th July another fragment of a face was photo- 
graphed (Figs. 98 and 99), consisting of a right eye with a piece of 
cheek and forehead, framed with fabric and veil draperies. The whole 
object appears to be fixed to the curtain, which is rolled up by Eva's 
hand. The life-sized eye might correspond to that of a female person. 
This fragment of a face is the last flash-light photograph produced at 
Paris in July 1912. 

In the second half of July Mme. Bisson and Eva were alone in the 
family villa at La Baule at the mouth of the Loire, in order to make 
preparations for the move from Paris. On 19th July Mme. Bisson 
hypnotised her medium in the photographic dark-room of the house 
while the door was open, i.e., in semi-darkness. Eva wore her day 
costume. Suddenly the female image known as " Berthe " showed 
itself several times on Eva's clothed body. This observation is interest- 
ing as a spontaneous materialisation, without cabinet and without 
seance costume, occurring in half daylight. 



SITTINGS IN JULY, AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER 

1912 (MUNICH). 

ARRANGEMENT OF THE EXPERIMENTAL ROOM. 

In response to the author's invitation, Mme. Bisson and Eva C. stayed 
in Munich from the 25th July till 13th September 1912, and sittings 



172 



PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 



were held in a room adjoining the author's working-rooms, and 
arranged for the purpose {see Diagram). 

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D1A6BAU VII. 



For the construction of the cabinet a large three-cornered wooden 
framework had been prepared, having two sides, 6 feet wide at right 
angles to each other, the extreme ends of which were nearly 9 feet 
apart, and were joined by the curtain-rod. This gave a cabinet 4| feet 
in depth and 8| feet high. The cross-bar in front was 8 inches wide, 
and to its inner surface was attached a stereoscopic camera (Zeiss Protar, 
F= 1*6 inches, f/18, 3| by 5 inches), enabling me to photograph the occur- 
rences inside the cabinet from above at a distance of 30 to 60 inches. 

The whole framework was movable and collapsible, and was covered 
with a thin black cotton lining, as was the ceiling and the floor of the 
cabinet. A second photographic camera (" Special Wiphot," 3| by 
5 inches, Rietschel Linear Anastigmah, f/4-8, F = 4| inches) was placed 
in the corner of the cabinet on the medium's right, at a height of 
57 inches, in order to photograph the occurrences near Eva's head and 
shoulders, at a distance of 40 inches (as in the Paris seance room). 
The camera could be worked on the medium's right by drawing back 



SITTINGS IN JULY, AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER 1912 173 

the curtain, which was only fixed to the framework for the upper half 
of its height, while the left curtain was nailed to the framework all the 
way down, so that no connection could be established with the medium 
on that side. The easy-chair intended for the cabinet was partly painted 
black and partly covered with black material. It consisted of basket- 
work, with a simple smooth seat and back. 

The electric pendant held five lamps with red glass bulbs, two of 
sixteen candle-power and three of twenty-five candle-power, thus 
yielding an illumination of one hundred candle-power, which sufficed 
for reading the hands of a watch and large print, especially on the seats 
in front of the curtain. 

The electrically-ignited flash-light was contained in a large metal 
box, 10 feet away from the cabinet, with its door opening towards the 
cabinet, the frame of the door being covered with a transparent incom- 
bustible fabric. A tube joining the box to the stove-pipe immediately 
removed the smoke of the burnt magnesium powder. This arrangement 
enabled us to take several photographs in succession without being 
inconvenienced by the magnesium smoke. 

Besides the two cameras already mentioned as placed in the cabinet, 
four other cameras were used, mounted in places which remained the 
same in all the Munich sittings. These cameras were furnished with 
Zeiss lenses. There were two stereoscopic cameras with Tessar lenses, 
f/6-3, F=-4| inches; one camera 7 by 9^ inches, f/6-3, F=14 inches'; 
and one 3| by 5 inches, f/4-5, F = 6 inches. 

A kinematograph by Pathe Freres, for which an electric projection 
lamp with an instantaneous shutter provided the illumination, was also 
in readiness, but it could only be brought into action once, and that 
without success. For this reason the position of the kinematograph is 
not shown on the Diagram. 

The electric contact for igniting the flash-light was provided with 
sufficient flexible wire to enable the author to work it from his seat. 
All the electric arrangements of the seance room derived their current 
from the house installation. 



Sitting of the 25th July 1912. 

Present. — Mme. Bisson, Dr Specht, and the author. 

Negative. 

During this and all the following sittings Eva wore the well-known 
Paris seance costume, consisting of black tights, with stockings in one 
piece, and the black apron dress. As in Paris, Mme, Bisson, in our 
presence, sewed up the medium before each sitting in the room adjoining 
the seance room, after a bodily examination. The seam passed round 
her waist in order to join the tights to the dress, and then up from the 
waist to the neck, as well as round the wrists. The costume remained 
in my house, and was closely examined before and after each sitting 
by the sitters, with the help of an electric torch shining through it. 
Only after completing the preparation of the costume, and after searching 
the medium, did the two ladies enter the seance room together with 



174 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

the other sitters, the room then being illuminated with white electric 
light. 

Eva took her seat in the cabinet and extended her hands, Mme. Bisson 
taking hold of her thumbs, Hypnotisation was carried out, by fixation 
of gaze and suggestion, in thirty to sixty seconds. Mme. Bisson then 
sat back. One of those present closed the curtain and extinguished 
the white light, while the red light was burning all the time. The 
hypnotisation process described was the same in all the sittings. 
' Besides the above precautions, the sitters also examined the cabinet 
before and after each sitting. The windows were closed by wooden 
shutters and curtains and the doors locked with keys, which, in some 
sittings, were put in charge of the observers. Dr Specht had on the 
25th spent an hour and a half, in the afternoon, in the seance room, 
in order to examine it, and especially the cabinet, thoroughly in every 
part. 

Sitting of the 26th July 1912. 

Present. — Mme. Bisson, Dr Specht, and the author. 

Time, 8.30 p.m. Examination and illumination as on 25th July. I 
passed my hand over the medium's skin under the dress and found that 
there were no veils or other objects concealed. Dr Specht followed my 
hand from the outside. Eva undid her hair, opened her mouth, and 
pronounced vowels. The examination of her teeth, ears, arm-pits, and 
feet had negative results. 

Specht carefully followed the process of hypnotisation. The white 
light was extinguished by the author at the moment when Eva was 
hypnotised and subsided into her chair. Mme. Bisson sat in the middle 
in front of the curtain, I on her left, and Specht to the right. Eva held 
the curtain closed for about twenty minutes, while breathing stertor- 
ously, as in the Paris sittings. When she opened the curtain I saw 
beside her left elbow a white mass, which was fugitive but clear enough 
to be recognised. 

A few minutes later, Mme. Bisson and the author saw a male face, 
with a dark beard, on the left behind Eva, resembling the photographs 
of the type Bisson. I exchanged places with Specht. When the 
curtain was opened again, the latter thought he saw an object resembling 
a skull. During the next phenomenon Eva's head, resting on the back 
of the chair, and her hands, opening the- curtain by about 8 inches, 
were all visible. Above her left hand a bright wisp about 5 inches long 
appeared, which seemed to be self-luminous. After this the image of 
the type " Bisson " was seen to advance slowly into the circle of light 
and expose itself to view. It was above the medium's hand behind the 
left curtain, and appeared flat without any relief. Specht had the 
impression that the image had become clearer after the medium's forced 
expirations and blowing. The image disappeared. Eva declared, after 
a short time, she did not feel any more. The sitting was at an end. 
She rose, walked up to Dr Specht, tore open the seams, and allowed 
him to examine her thoroughly. Result, negative, as was also the 
searching of the cabinet. 



SITTINGS IN JULY, AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER 1912 175 

Dr Specht considers the phenomena unexplained, and that the 
proof is complete as far as the facts are concerned. Only he wished 
that the white light should be switched off after the curtain had been 
completely closed. The sudden change of illumination produces a 
blinding of the eye for a short period, and this only disappears when the 
eyes have got accustomed to the red light. This involves a source of 
error, for if fraud was intended, one could at that moment pass objects 
to the medium in the cabinet without detection. 



Sitting of the 28th July 1912. 

Present. — Mme. Bisson, Dr Specht, and the author. 

In order to eliminate all sources of error and possible objections 
regarding Mme. Bisson's part in the phenomena, the latter asked to be 
examined before the sitting. She entered another room and undressed 
completely in the author's presence. She wore a chemise, knickers, 
stockings, and shoes, all coloured black, and over them a long black 
dress in one piece, which was carefully examined. Neither in the 
shoes, nor under the stockings, was anything suspicious found. A 
strict search of the hair and the surface of the body gave negative results. 

I then conducted the lady into the room adjoining the seance room, 
where she sewed up Eva, in our presence, into the seance costume, 
after the medium had been examined as on the 25th July. That the 
costume and cabinet had been previously searched by Dr Specht goes 
without saying. 

We then entered the seance room together. Eva was hypnotised 
as on 25th July. Mme. Bissor closed the curtain, and took her place 
in front of it on the left. Only then, at a sign from Dr Specht, did 
the author extinguish the white light. 

During the first twenty minutes the medium breathed and blew 
heavily. Then, as the curtain was opened, there appeared on the left, 
behind the medium, against the wall, at the level of her head, the same 
male image as we had observed on 25th July. It was shown four 
times. Dr Specht regarded it as remarkable that during the first 
exposure the picture was visible in p place from which it had disappeared 
at the second exposure, reappearing in the same place at the third 
opening, although Eva's hands had been visible all the time, and had 
not left the curtain for an instant. At the urgent request of Mme. Bisson, 
that the phenomenon might come forward, the portrait changed its 
place, placed itself on Eva's head, then on her right side, then partly 
disappeared from our view, finally fixing itself on the back of the 
curtain, on the left. Eva tried carefully to expose the structure gradu- 
ally to the light by manipulating the curtain. During the next opening, 
I worked the electric contact for the flash-light. 

Until then Mme. Bisson had not entered the cabinet, but now she 
extended her hands, which were held by Dr Specht, into the cabinet, 
in order to soothe the frightened medium, by placing her hand on her 
head and her heart. 

The image corresponding to the type " Bisson " showed itself a few 



176 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

more times, while I looked after the plates, but Eva declared herself 
to be exhausted, and could not continue the sitting. 

The sitters having been requested not to leave their places, the 
white electric light was switched on. The first to enter the cabinet 
was Dr Specht, who examined the cabinet and the medium without 
finding anything which could have served for the artificial production 
of what had been seen. 

Mme. Bisson, still sitting in her place, was then searched from head 
to foot with a negative result. Dr Specht then declared that the 
experimental conditions were perfect, and that the impression made 
upon him by the occurrences was favourable and positive. 

The photographs (Figs. 100 and 101) taken at the sitting of 28th July 
show through the gap of the curtain, which is only 10 or 12 inches wide, 
the medium oii her chair, with her head bent to the right. The left 
curtain is partly rolled up by her left hand. At the level of Eva's head 
we see an elongated, fiat, sharply-cut picture, of a substance resembling 
paper or cardboard, with a bearded male face. The image appears to 
be fixed with its left side against the back of the left curtain, and to 
extend at right angles to it in a direction towards the wall, so that, 
with the exception of the lowest portion, the whole image was invisible 
from in front, and only visible from the medium's right, where the 
stereoscopic camera was mounted. 

The image looks quite distorted, the nose being wanting except for 
a stump under the eyes. Two broad creases pass over the forehead 
parallel to each other. One of these ends at the root of the nose, while 
the other passes over the left eye do^vTi to the corner of the mouth. A 
short distinct crease passes horizontally over the left temple. The 
rectangular surface at the bottom, especially the lighter-coloured con- 
tinuation under the beard, shows numerous creases, projections, and 
folds. The whole form is produced on such a dark, black, partly grey, 
and spotted ground that the features can only be made out after pro- 
longed study. 

In spite of its fiat construction, this production resembles an unfinished 
sculptural sketch in grey clay. On account of the depth of the shadows 
we get the impression of a low relief about the mouth and eye-sockets. 
Any one unacquainted with the conditions of the experiments would 
consider the appearance of this mediumistic product very suspicious. 
He would take it for a crumpled, spoilt, mask-like portrait, with eyes 
too small in comparison with the other features, which are themselves 
out of proportion. But a closer examination will not be satisfied with 
that. For the whole thing looks bizarre. In spite of its flatness, it 
looks kneaded, with an unusual distribution of darker and lighter 
portions, of real forms, and formless pieces of material. 

Whether paper or cardboard creases have the character of the 
creases in the picture must be left in doubt. The vertical rent over the 
left eye gives the impression as if the face consisted of two portions. 
The treatment of the whole portrait, in its design and execution, appears 
rough and clumsy. The margin, shown in the picture taken by the 
opposite camera, projecting beyond the right curtain, does not show 
the creases characteristic of crumpled paper, nor the hard substratum 
peculiar to paper, but looks rather like a soft yielding material (Fig. 102). 




Fig. ioo. Author's flashlight photo- 
GRAPH OF 28 July, 1912. 




Fig. ioi. Enlargkment of Fig. 100^ 




Fig. 102. Author's flashlight photograph of 2S July, 1912. 



SITTINGS OF JULY, AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER 1912 177 

The very defects of this strange product characterise it in a manner 
such as could hardly be paralleled by the crumpling of ordinary pictures 
or masks. 

Although the author could hardly expect from Dr Specht, after only 
two positive sittings and poor phenomena, a final judgment, either 
pro or con, he received from him a letter dated 6th August 1912, from 
Sweden, whither he had meanwhile departed, and I may as well quote 
some passages from it, as they show in a typical manner how a man's 
fresh recollections of his own observations cannot hold their own 
against his habitual thoughts and rooted prejudices. He writes : — 

" Even at the end of the second sitting I was firmly convinced that 
the phenomena were impostures, but the source of error pointed out 
by me (premature extinction of the white light) was eliminated in the 
third sitting. I observed all that happened during and after hypnosis ; 
I also considered it impossible that there was a corporeal contact 
between the medium and Mme. Bisson after the disappearance of the 
phenomena. I was, therefore, speechless after what I had seen. I was 
face to face with a riddle. Indeed, in the third sitting, what I saw 
appeared monstrous to me. For I had the impression that, while the 
phenomena appeared, disappeared, and reappeared, the medium had 
her hands continuously at the curtain at the level of her knees. It 
seemed to me quite impossible to produce the phenomena as they 
appeared in the third sitting by trickery. Thus my impression after 
the third sitting was quite different from what it was after the first 
and second. It was a favourable one, as I said at the time. 

" To-day, after over a week has passed, I am convinced that every- 
thing was trickery. The black background, the injunction against 
touching the products, may be specially noted, because the deception 
is not possible without. Nor do I consider myself competent to discover 
tricks by which the snake-charmers of Ceylon perform their feats. In 
spite of the closest search of the two ladies, something may have escaped 
you, and why should you not have been deceived for three years ? My 
impression, on the whole, is that we are shown materialisations which 
do not exist." 

On account of this negative attitude, Dr Specht was not invited to 
further sittings. 



Sittings of the 30th and 81st July. 

Present. — Mme. Bisson, Dr Kafka (Privatdozent in Psychology), and 

the author. 

Negative. 

In order to meet the requirements of scientific sitters still further, 
Mme. Bisson resolved to change her dress like the medium before the 
sittings, and the author selected for this purpose from her wardrobe a 
light grey thin dressing-gown, which, like Eva's seance costume, was 
kept in the seance room. 

M 



178 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

Eva C. seemed little satisfied with her stay at Munich. She did 
not feel happy in the strange surroundings, wished to depart, and showed 
no interest in the sights of the strange city. It was notable that before 
the sitting of 31st July she had a decided squint. 



Sitting of the 3rd August 1912. 

Present. — Mme. Bisson and the author. 

Conditions, hypnotisation, etc., as in previous sittings. 

Prolonged blowing expirations. After about twenty-five minutes 
we saw, against the dark background, the distinct shape of a white 
half-mask of a face, near the medium's head, with two black eye-holes. 
When the curtain opened again the male face, as in the last sitting, 
appeared, and in this case its pictorial character was clearly preserved, 
on the left, behind the medium, against the wall. Both rents across 
the forehead were clearly visible. 

The medium seemed to make great efforts. She whimpered and 
moaned as if in pain, and there followed some unusually deep tones, 
with a convulsive tetanic stretching of the whole body. Suddenly she 
screamed as if in violent pain (such as might be produced by a surgical 
operation), and made lively defensive movements, as if repelling a 
strange power intruding upon her. This incident obliged Mme. Bisson 
to enter the cabinet and look after Eva. Slowly she grew calmer, but 
the sitting could not be continued. Final control negative. Eva 
squinted strongly, complained of indisposition, and vomited some 
blood. 



Sitting of the 5th August 1912. 

Present. — Mme. Bisson, Professor Albert von Keller (painter), and 

the author. 

Conditions. — Examination of the medium and Mme. Bisson as on 
28th July. 

Before the sitting Eva was restless and complained of palpitation, 
a sign that we could expect a favourable sitting. Already in the after- 
noon, during the preparatory hypnotisation in their lodgings, Mme. 
Bisson had to waken the medium and cut short the procedure, because 
even at that early hour the medium's whole behaviour indicated the 
immediate occurrence of phenomena. Otherwise, the success of the 
evening sitting might have been interfered with. 

It was only after Professor von Keller had made a preliminary 
examination and declared that there was nothing suspicious, either 
about the two women or about the cabinet, that the hypnotisation 
commenced, in the same manner as on 28th July. 

The curtain was not yet closed, and the white light was still shining, 




Fig. 103. Author's first photograph of 5 August, 1912. 
(a) Original. [b) Enlargement. 





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SITTINGS OF JULY, AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER 1912 179 

when the well-known loud sound of expiration set in in great strength. 
The author had hardly time to switch off the light and sit down when 
the first phenomenon appeared through the slightly open curtain, in 
the shape of a long wisp of material on the medium's left upper arm. 
This peculiar shape appeared on the left, behind the medium, and we 
recognised a female face, which repeatedly changed it . position, appearing 
sometimes on the medium's breast, and sometimes on her right or left 
shoulder, while the hands, as she opened and closed the curtain, were 
continuously visible. 

As soon as the image was again seen on the medium's left shoulder, 
the first photograph was taken, which, on this day, produced less 
shock than usual upon the medium. While the plates were being 
quickly changed, the image took up a position against the wall on the 
left. This situation was quickly photographed again, and then a third 
photograph was taken, at the moment when the female face emerged 
between the curtains at the level of Eva's chest. The female face 
withstood even the third magnesium flash, and showed itself several 
times afterwards. It was only when the author switched on the electric 
arc-lamp for the purpose of a fourth photograph that the mediumistic 
activity was impaired, so that the phenomenon disappeared without 
a trace. The white electric light was then switched on, while all the 
sitters remained in their places. The final examination, undertaken 
by Professor von Keller and the author, was negative, both as regards 
Mme. Bisson and the medium, as also was the examination of the cabinet. 

In spite of the comparatively fatiguing performances of this sitting, 
Eva was not over-tired, and slept well. 

On the first of the eleven successful photographs (Fig. 103) the 
facial muscles of the medium are convulsively contracted, as if by strong 
concentration of the will. The female face on her left shoulder is some- 
what vague in its details, and in its softness resembles a Japanese 
picture, painted or drawn on the finest silk. It is half suspended, and 
half leaning, with its right side against Eva's apparently black hair, 
while there seems to be a lower point of support in the two ribbons of 
material hanging down on each side of the head-dress, and crossing on 
Eva's upper arni. The remaining parts of the head, especially the 
neck covered with a creased collar, are freely suspended, and are 
separated from Eva's shoulder, as shown in the stereoscopic 
photographs. 

Again we have to do with the product of an artistic activity, a sort 
of sketchy drawing of a portrait, but certainly not a photographic 
reproduction from life, quite apart from the question whether the 
performance is valuable or not, whether it is made by an amateur or a 
professional, or what is the base on which it is drawn, whether paper, 
fine gauzy fabric, or some plastic substance. It is obvious that the 
cap-like head covering is treated technically in the same way as the 
face and collar. This is clearly shown on the stereoscopic photographs. 
On the supposition that the whole was a drawing, the cap also would 
have been drawTi. But then the cap ends in long distinct folded 
ribbons, flowing down over Eva's upper arm, and continuing in broad 
bands of material. Here, then, the drawing would suddenly be con- 
verted into a plastic reality. On the other hand, the cap might be of 



180 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

plastic material, with a drawing on the surface. But this is not at all 
the impression conveyed by the picture. However this may be, the 
transition from the pictorial to the plastic is a pleasing characteristic 
of the image. The uniform treatment of the whole image is also shown 
by the numerous folds of the collar, which appears to consist of the same 
material as the cap. 

The enlargements show that the whole portrait is covered by 
numerous parallel rents and creases, the most conspicuous of which 
cuts vertically across the right eye. 

Some irregular transverse creases are also seen on close inspection. 
An impartial observer, who did not know the origin of the head, might 
assume that thin paper had served as a basis for the portrait, and had 
then been unfolded and smoothed out, showing traces of such folding. 
This supposition can hardly be brought into harmony with the woolly 
character of the cap, ribbons, and collar. But if the image is an 
artistic sketch on a woven basis, the peculiar character of the 
creases, which could be easily smoothed out in a fabric, would be 
difficult to explain. 

This question is answered with some certainty by the photograph 
taken from within the cabinet (Figs. 104 and 105), which shows the 
product taken in profile from behind. 

On this photograph we see that the product consists of a single 
fabric, in the shape of a soft, clinging, fibrous mass. Paper would look 
in profile like a clear rigid surface. But here, on the other hand, the 
head ends in a wide rounded parcel of material. 

On the stereoscopic transparency Eva's dress, over her right thigh, 
shows a number of white patches, and another such patch appears in 
front on the right, under the seam of the hip. As was observed at later 
sittings, such patches are due to the emanated teleplasm, and are 
residues of the organised material. 

In the second flash-light photograph of the same sitting (Fig. 106), 
the medium inclines her head towards the left, and holds the curtain 
wide open, so that we can now distinctly see the image fixed to the 
background on the left. Very probably it is the same female portrait. 
But a thick and broad parcel of material, with a straight lower rim, 
hangs over the left half of the face down to the chin. Starting from 
the image, a cord, over 3 feet long and irregularly twisted, joins Eva's 
head with the image. Its lower end passes up to Eva's right ear, 
ending in a loop. There are two knots in the cord. A second such 
cord branches off downward on the left and falls over the medium's 
left upper arm. 

The termination of the face on the right is different, m this picture, 
from the last. While in the first photograph the face ends in a straight 
line on the right, so that the ear is not visible and the cap on the head 
appears flat, in the second picture the lower half of the left ear comes 
out clearly, and the line of the throat down to the collar curves down in 
a natural way. The line of the hair and its covering rises plastically 
from the foundation. The portion between ear and throat appears to 
be filled with a veil-like material. On the left side of the face we only 
see portions of the nose and mouth, the remainder being covered by 
the curtain, while the whole lower portion of the image is the same as 




Fig. io6. Author's second flasiimcht i hotograi'h, 5 Aigi-st, 1912. 




Fig. 107. Author's third flash- 
light PHOTOGRAPH, 5 AUGUST. I0I2. 



SITTINGS OF JULY, AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER 1912 181 

in the first negative. On the breast of Eva's dress, about the region 
of her heart, a new long white patch has appeared, which was absent 
in the first picture. 

The third series of photographs of this sitting (Figs. 107 and 108) 
shows a much more distinct picture, quite in front in the curtain gap, 
and from 8 to 12 inches higher than Eva's knees. 

On the first photograph the image does not appear to be quite 
developed. It resembles the face of a young woman of about twenty-five 
years. The face gives a slender and juvenile impression, owing to the 
way in which it terminates at the side. The right cheek is a little 
distorted down to the chin. The whole sketchy, and somewhat vague, 
drawing shows a remarkable softness and delicacy which may be 
intentional . 

Quite different is the third photograph. Here we see a pleasant, 
round, female face, which might correspond to an age of about forty 
years. The features come out clear and distinct, especially the correct 
curves of the left cheek (Fig. 108). The double chin is clearly marked, 
and the mouth, nose, and eyes are more distinct than in the first photo- 
graph (Fig. 103). The collar also is broader in the middle. The 
ribbons of the cap have disappeared, and the head covering is con- 
verted into a piece of fabric (lace ?) lying on the parted hair. From 
the head covering a broad ribbon falls down on the left side over the 
collar, ending in twisted fibres, which exactly resemble the threads of 
an unravelled woollen cord. 

Those portions of the picture which represent the hair, the fabric, 
and the collar give the impression of being formed of the same material, 
as they do not differ in structure or colour. Here, again, we have a 
combination of plastic, fabric, and pictorial drawing forming a har- 
monious whole. The technical process employed in these pheno- 
mena, and the artistic development, seem to be the same in all the 
pictures. 

The sceptic will direct the severest criticism against the last picture, 
as it is crossed with parallel folds and rents, just like the first. One 
involuntarily recalls the cracks in old portraits painted on wood, which 
would appear just like this. 

The most interesting conclusion yielded by a comparative study of 
the three photographs of 5th August seems to me to consist in the 
perfection of the third photograph, as compared with the first. In 
both cases we have the same type of face, and, indeed, the same person, 
as shown by a comparison of the expression of the eyes and the design 
of the nose, forehead, and eye-sockets. In the first portrait we might 
have before us a woman of twenty-eight years, and in the third portrait 
the picture of the same lady at the age of forty. Tlie ethereal, delicate, 
and undeveloped young woman has become a fully developed, portly 
woman of mature age. The manner of dressing the hair with the head 
covering, and the collar, also correspond to the spirit and taste of the 
two different ages. Either that, or the second picture is a much more 
perfect portrait than the first, though only separated by a short interval 
of time. In any case, we have not to deal with rigid drawings or an 
unchanging surface, but with a mobile and varying product, showing 
changes in numerous details. 



N. 



182 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 



Sitting of the 7th August 1912. 

Present. — Mme. Bisson, Professor von Keller, Dr A., and the author. 
Negative. 

Sitting of the 9th August 1912. 

Present. — Mme. Bisson, Dr A,, and the author. 

Examination. — Mme. Bisson was examined by the author in a 
separate room, as on 28th July. She put on the light grey dressing- 
gown, which had been examined carefully by Dr A. with the help of an 
electric torch. After she had taken off her shoes, we made sure that 
nothing was concealed in her stockings, nor in her hair. We also 
examined her mouth, arm-pics, and ears. 

We then entered the room adjoining the seance room, where we 
found Eva, who had put on the seance costume, after examination by 
Dr A. Close examination of the medium's body, hair, mouth, and 
ears gave no result. The cabinet had already been examined by Dr A. 
We then entered the seance room. Hypnotisation as on 28th July, 
while the white electric light, standing on the table, brightly illuminated 
the hands of the two ladies. Hypnotisation was complete in thirty 
seconds. Mme. Bisson retired, so that she was from 3 to 5 feet from 
the curtain. Dr A. closed the curtain and took the lady's hands. I 
switched off the white light. As soon as our eyes had got accustomed 
to the red light, Dr A. released Mme. Bisson's hands. During the 
sitting he sat, or lay, in front of the cabinet, while Mme. Bisson took 
her place h-^r.ind him. 

As soon as the behaviour of Eva indicated a positive sitting, by the 
loud blowing expirations after hypnotisation, the author quickly 
opened the cameras. 

I had hardly sat down in my chair when the medium opened the 
curtain and showed on her left upper arm a long white wisp, which 
afterwards covered her head. The left hand often disappeared behind 
the curtain, while the right hand usually remained visible. 

During the next opening we perceived a pictorial female face on 
her left shoulder. Eva said she had not sufficient power, and would 
have to take hold of the materialisation with her hand in order to pull 
it away from herself towards the curtain. She asked us to wait for the 
photograph, " Cela suit ma main." The manipulations with the right 
hand were observed by us. As soon as I again saw the image, I ignited 
the magnesium powder. Mme. Bisson then laid her hands, which were 
held by Dr A., on the medium's neck and heart. On this occasion he 
again saw something white oil Eva's left shoulder. Then the curtain 
was closed. 

Continuation of the Sitting. — The white mass on the medium's 
shoulder appeared again. This time the author, without warning, 
illuminated the object with the white light of a pocket-lamp. We saw 




Fig. io3. Eni.aroemext of Fig. 107. 




Fig. 109. Author's first flashlight photograph, 9 August, 1912. 



SITTINGS OF JULY, AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER 1912 183 

a flat triangular structure about the size of a hand, with dark rims and 
a white centre. It stood the exposure of the white light for about three 
seconds, and then, turning about a vertical axis, it disappeared back- 
ward and vanished from our sight. When the female face appeared 
again I made a second exposure. The medium was exhausted, and 
the sitting closed. 

The cameras were closed while all kept their places. The white 
electric light was switched on. Dr A. found all the seams in Eva's 
dress intact. The medium was subjected to a strict search, with a 
negative result, and after it was finished Mme. Bisson, who had not 
left her seat, was also examined, with the same result. After the two 
ladies had withdrawn the cabinet was examined. As in the previous 
sittings, Eva was wakened from hypnosis after the final examination. 

Of the first series of photographs (Figs. 109 and 110), taken on 
9th August, the stereoscopic transparency, which was most successful, 
shows that Eva had opened the curtain with her right foot, and was 
holding, with her right arm stretched over her head towards the left, 
a sort of mask, while the original place of her right hand on her knee 
was occupied by a white mass. The junction of the thumb and fore- 
finger of the left hand is also marked by a narrow, fiat strip of matter 
which passes over the back of the hand. This was the first occasion 
on which the stereoscopic apparatus attached to the roof of the cabinet 
was brought into action. For the study of the shape, dimensions, 
and proportions of the object photographed in the sitting of 9th August, 
we have at our disposal two stereoscopic photographs, one from above 
and one from in front, as well as a side view taken from inside the 
cabinet. 

A comparison of these three photographs makes it quite certain 
that the mask held by Eva was a profile of a female face modelled in 
low relief. It is cut off sharp and flat at the back, and the whole face 
rises on this flat base in a hemispherical form to an approximate height 
of 2 inches. That the shape is modelled, and does not consist of a 
sheet of paper bent by the hand, is clearly proved by the photographs 
taken from within the cabinet. The broad covering of hair over the 
forehead clearly projects down to the right ear, and the right temple 
is also clearly arched. The ear appears to be covered by hair. The 
portion of the face exposed to the light is traversed by rents like the 
" craquelures " of an old picture. From the inner corner of the right 
eye, which is just visible, a thick black line, probably a rent, passes to 
the right eyebrow, but without continuing downwards. 

Such a rent is also seen in the photographs of the 5th August 
(Fig. 108), but in this case it commences in the eye and passes downward, 
while the upper eyelid remains free. The negatives of the 9th August 
show the reverse case, the rent beginning in the same place, but passing 
upward. This peculiar coincidence does not, therefore, prove the 
identity or similarity of the two objects. Unfortunately, all the other 
portions of the face are covered by the shadow of the curtain, so that 
this mask-like face cannot be compared with the other pictures. But, 
on account of their well-marked plastic development, these photographs 
form an important supplement to the numerous flat pictures. 

Eva exhibited the structure to the sitters apparently by holding it 



184 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

by the part corresponding to the hair. A severe critic would object 
not only to the mask-like appearance, but also to the manner of demon- 
stration. He would contend that the white mass on the lap is intended 
to represent a hand indistinctly visible in the shadow. But if in this 
case something is represented which does not exist, Eva, in her waking 
condition, could not be made responsible for such an action while 
hypnotised. In any case, this view does not affect the central point of 
the mediumistic phenomena. This consists in the creation of these 
objects and their disappearance. All the experimental conditions 
employed up to now, which exclude the concealment of objects, have 
not brought us any nearer to the solution of i his question. 

A free suspension of the materialised objects was, in all the sittings, 
only observed when combined with rapid motion. But in order to 
become visible when at rest, the object seems to require a point of 
support, such as the dress of the medium, the curtain, or the back wall. 
It is therefore easily understood psychologically that when Eva 
endeavours to show the materialised product to the sitters, she touches 
it, places it, or even fastens it somewhere, and that these manipulations 
require the use of her hands. This applies especially to such sittings 
in which her mediumistic power does not suffice. It is less objectionable 
as regards the sitting of 9th August, as Eva announced, in her own 
words, the co-operation of her hands. The appearance of the picture 
by itself, without a knowledge of the records and experimental con- 
ditions, must necessarily produce an incorrect and unfavourable 
impression. 

The second photograph (Fig. Ill), of 9th August, shows at once 
the same type of female face as was photographed three times on 
5th August. Essentially we have again a flat pictorial production with 
sharply-cut margins, which is apparently fastened to Eva's hair above 
and touches her left shoulder below. The triangular head covering, 
with rounded points, projects in a straight line over the forehead, and 
casts a shadow upon it like a superimposed piece of fabric. The patchy 
grey, narrow, twisted strips hanging down to the collar on both sides 
of the face are obviously intended to represent hair. The right-hand 
position of the collar, which in its shape resembles that of 25th July, 
seems to be a superimposed piece, as does the head covering. The left 
cheek, which in the third photograph of 5th August is so typically 
rounded, here gives a twisted impression, and the anatomy resembles 
that of an old woman. In the drawing of the mouth and nose also we 
miss the firm lines of the forty-year-old woman of the previous sitting. 
The double chin is no longer clear, but the chin appears to have grown 
more pointed and less firm. The face looks thin, wrinkled, and 
shrivelled, although, on the whole, it preserves the roundish type of 
the age of forty. 

The somewhat ill-defined sketchy drawing of nose, eyes, and fore- 
head, as well as the whole structure of the face, suggest that we may 
have here a greater age (sixty-five to seventy years) than on 5th August. 
The treatment of hair and clothing also supports this. While the 
twenty-eight-year-old " Berthe " wears a coquettish cap with long 
streamers joined in a loop below, the head covering of the forty-year-old 
person has been simplified. It is still placed on the hair in a picturesque 




Fig. iio. Enlargemkxt of Fig. 109. 




Fig. III. Author's second flashlight photograph, 9 August, 1912. 
(a) Enlargement. (b) Full picture. 



SITTINGS OF JULY, AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER 1912 185 

manner, and ends in a shoiter streamer, but it suits the dignity of that 
age. The person of, say, sixty-eight, shows less interest in her appearance, 
as shown by the unadorned and unbecoming piece of material laid over 
the head. The hair, still nicely parted at forty, hangs down over the 
temples in a haphazard way in the last picture. 

This view of the pictures only occurred to the author four months 
afterwards, during a minute comparison of the photographs, and 
neither the medium nor Mme. Bisson knew about it. The reader should 
form his own judgment on the basis of the three pictures. 

Finally, we ought to notice that in the picture a small packet of 
white material lies on the shoulder beside the chin. The stereoscopic 
pictures also show that the material observed on Eva's left thigh, in 
the first photograph, has left behind at two places some traces in the 
form of white patches. 

Assuming that the manifestations of 9th August were fraudulently 
produced by Eva, this implies the smuggling in (against all the pre- 
cautions taken) of — 

(1) A plastic mask of natural size, apparently made of some 

solid material ; 

(2) a head shape of paper or textile fabric ; and 

(3) a quantity of substance, the size of a hand, which leaves 

traces on the dress. 

These products would have to be well packed in a small compass, con- 
cealed on the bare body, in spite of all precautions, brought into the 
cabinet, opened out, used, then folded up into equally small packets, 
and again concealed about the bare body, so that the most thorough 
search could discover nothing ! A conjuring performance of this kind 
would be novel, and would reveal a world of deception hitherto unknown. 
But, so long as no such trick is actually performed under the same con- 
ditions, and cannot be performed, the discussion of the hypothesis seems 
superfluous. 



Sitting of the 14th August 1912. 



Negative. 



Sitting of the 15th August 1912. 

Present. — Mme. Bisson, Dr A., and the author. 

Control. — Mme. Bisson changed her dress in the author's })resence, 
in his study, and was strictly examined by him. She wore a black 
chemise, knickers, and over them she put on the grey dressing-gown, 
after it had been examined by Dr A., and fastened it with a grey belt, 
which had also been examined. An examination of her hair, ears, etc., 
was also negative. 

Eva entered the room adjoining the seance room in the seance 
costume. The author undid her hair and examined the whole surface 



186 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

of her body, including her arm-pits, mouth, nose, ears, hands, and feet, 
all with a negative result. 

Eva was then sewn into the seance costume by Mme. Bisson, as 
already described. The seams were so close that one could not pass a 
finger through them. Dr A. conducted Eva into the seance room, 
after it had been very strictly examined by him. After his examina- 
tion, nobody had meanwhile entered it. Eva took her seat in the 
cabinet. After Dr A. had made sure that Mme. Bisson's hands were 
empty, the hypnotisation took place in such a way that Mme. Bisson 
grasped Eva's thumbs, which were stretched forward out of the cabinet, 
and fixed her gaze until, in half a minute, a state of trance had set in. 
Mme. Bisson then withdrew her hands, and Dr A. closed the curtains. 
Mme. Bisson sat fiom 5 to 7 feet from the curtain, on the floor, and 
gave her hands to Dr A. Only then was the white light switched off, 
and the red light left burning. As soon as the eyes had got accustomed 
to the illumination, Dr A. released Mme. Bisson's hands, and also sat 
down on the carpet between her and the curtains. 

The phenomena commenced immediately. With the well-known 
physical accompaniments, Eva's hands grasped the curtain and showed 
a long white wisp on her breast about 16 inches long and 3 or 4 inches 
broad. The curtains were then closed. In about ten minutes they 
were opened again, and a white disk, about the size of a head, with no 
motion of its own, was shown by rolling up the curtain into the medium's 
left hand. It looked fiat, white, and rectangular. The curtain was 
released and fell back. During the next opening Dr A. found on the 
same structure a crumpled corner projecting into the stance room, 
and finally the sitters recognised the features of the image. It was then 
suggested to the medium to bring about distinct, and, if possible, freely 
suspended materialisations, and not again to withdraw the hands which 
held the curtain. 

Undei these conditions, while the hands were visible and quiet, the 
next opening showed a mass of the size of a head, some 20 inches above 
Eva's hair, between the curtains, and this mass glided downwards and 
backwards and disappeared with a turn towards the back. During 
the next opening of the curtain the left curtain was rolled up, and, at 
the same place as before, a white, fiat face profile became visible, with 
its hinder part (neck, etc.) covered by the curtain. A flash-light photo- 
graph was taken, and the sitting closed. Mme. Bisson did not enter 
the cabinet during the sitting, and while the photograph was being 
taken she was held by Dr A. 

The white electric light was switched on. Mme. Bisson did not 
leave her place. The medium was undressed by Dr A. and the author, 
with the exception of the tunic, which opened down the back. They 
examined her mouth, nose, ears, toes, hands, arm-pits, and the whole 
skin, with a negative result. The author also conducted a thorough 
gynaecological examination, in the course of which Eva was much 
affected, and broke into tears. Nothing suspicious was found. After 
the medium had been examined, Mme. Bisson removed her outer dress, 
and was searched by the author in the presence of Dr A. without the 
slightest thing being found which gave rise to suspicion. The subse- 
quent examination of the cabinet and the seance room was also negative. 




Fig. 112. Author's flashlight photogr.\ph of 15 August, 191 2. 
(a) Front view. {h) Enl.\rgement of (a). (c) View from the left. 




Fig. 113. Enlargement of a stereoscopic side view, 

TAKEN outside THE CABINET, I5 AUGUST, I912. 



SITTINGS OF JULY, AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER 1912 187 

The picture (Fig. 112) obtained on 15th August is interesting in 
many ways. An artistically complete female face and profile looks 
out of the left ^curtain, which is held up by Eva's left hand. Its gaze 
is directed upwards, and the curtain cuts off the whole back of the 
head, from a line in front of the left ear. Again we have not to deal 
with an object reproduced from nature, but with an artistic impression. 
The features are extremely sharp in all their details, and finely drawn. 
There is something Madonna-like about the facial expression, and the 
whole conventional interpretation and treatment of the subject recalls 
the Directoire period. In consideration of the softness of the outer 
margins of the face, the clearness of the modelling, and the clever dis- 
tribution of light and shade, we might consider the face as plastically 
formed, and the stereoscopic negative taken from the roof also supports 
the idea of a mask in low relief ; but this might be due to the slanting 
position of thejimage. This point cannot be decided with absolute 
certainty from the photographs. The impression of hair is only pro- 
duced by the dark colour and shading, on the same ground substance. 

The profile is continued in a white wisp, which is very clearly repro- 
duced by the third stereoscopic camera (Fig. 113) placed at the side. 
At the first glance, this whit^ strip looks like an unfolded piece of white 
or grey paper, or like a width of a close textile fabric. The visible 
portion is some 10 to 12 inches wide and some 25 inches long, and is 
crossed by numerous parallel creases, which are about an inch apart. 
The lower half appears to be repaired by sticking on a semicircular 
patch. At right angles to these creases, which also come out in the face 
as delicate rents or lines, there are two strongly-developed furrows 
along the whole length of the strip, the first of which ends on the temple 
of the face. The broad, flat, paper-like strip ends above in the female 
profile, and then forms the stalk or continuation of the image, which 
touches the inside of the left curtain at its lower end, where it may 
possibly be attached. However favourable may be the impression 
conveyed by this portrait study, the analysis of its material composition 
has a sobering effect. Anyone who does not realise the rigorous pre- 
cautions taken, must necessarily assume that a packet, folded together 
in numerous rectangular folds, was fraudulently introduced into the 
seance room, and subsequently unfolded. This stiff broad sheet, partly 
repaired by a supplementary piece, might then be supposed to have 
been fixed on the inside of the left curtain, in such a manner that the 
face profile, cut out on the upper end, would just enter the light to 
show the profile. In that case, the second stereoscopic apparatus 
mounted near the right-hand curtain must be taken to have revealed 
the mechanism used in mounting the picture. 

We have here one of those cases where the appearances are against 
the medium, but only because this piece of material forming the support 
bears an extraordinary resemblance to a paper unfolded and fixed. 
But this single argument does not suffice for establishing a serious 
hypothesis of fraud. The technical process yielding a product which 
happens to produce the optical impression of a folded and crumpled 
paper, might very well be due to the character of the mediumistic 
production. For we see the same process in nearly all the images. 
Everywhere we see rents and creases, and, in the majority of them, a 



188 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

flat structure, and a predominance of the purely pictorial character, 
though occasionally there is low relief. We must bow before the facts, 
however strange, so long as we have not found the explanation. 



Sittings of the 18th and 20th August. 

Negative. 

On the 21st August, Dr A. drew my attention to a number of fresh 
holes which he had observed in the left-hand curtain. These holes, in 
his opinion, were made by pins used for fixing the images. In fact, we 
found, at a height of 40 to 50 inches, and at a distance of 12 to 16 inches 
from the hem of the curtain, a group of pin-holes in pairs. I had, 
indeed, on several occasions pinned the curtain flaps together. But 
this group of pin-holes was at a height of 67 inches, and near the hem 
of the curtain, and, therefore, had no connection with the supposed 
suspensions. The corroboration of Dr A.'s observation led us to shift 
the whole cabinet structure and to search the back wall with a thirty 
candle-power lamp, as several images had been observed apparently 
fixed to it. Here, also, we found about sixteen pin-holes in pairs, which 
roughly corresponded to the position of the images. The place in which 
these were found was at a height of 43 inches, and 3 feet from the corner 
of the cabinet. It should be mentioned that in that neighbourhood 
(about 8 inches away) a light -coloured spot was found resembling the 
spots sometimes left behind on Eva's dress as a residue of the materialised 
mass. On one occasion, on 5th August, an image had appeared on the 
right (the third photograph of that sitting), and this was fairly low, at 
the level of the back of the chair. A strict search revealed in this 
position three very small holes, 40 inches above the floor and 5 inches 
away from the hem of the curtain, which might be due to pins. 

It goes without saying that the use of pins for fixing the images 
would be a negative factor of considerable importance. For, in this 
case, a pin would have escaped our strict examination, which is quite 
possible, since the combs and hair-pins were not taken out of the 
medium's hair, and since a pin might very well have been hidden in 
the cabinet, in spite of the most painstaking precautions. 

On the basis of this fact many readers will certainly come to the 
conclusion that the images were fixed with pins. If we adopt this view, 
we encounter the question of where the pin came from. If these images, 
in spite of our precautions, were introduced by fraudulent manipula- 
tions, the pin is quite a natural addition, and we might assume that 
Eva had secured and hidden the pin in the waking state with a fraudulent 
intention. 

There is no trace of any evidence for such fraudulent preparations. 
The observations, extending over three and a half years, speak to the 
contrary. The conditions under which the sittings took place exclude 
the introduction of pictures and other objects. Besides, as we had 
occasion to observe later, other methods of fixation were used, such as 
adhesion by means of the material itself. The spot on the back wall is 
possibly a residue of this kind of fixation. That there is a fixation of 



SITTINGS OF JULY, AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER 1912 189 

the materialised products on the curtains, is amply proved by the 
series of experiments already described. 

In any case, we are obliged to distinguish between the question of 
suspension or location, and tihe mediumistic creation itself. I observed, 
in a later sitting, that the medium was capable of producing a picture, 
but could not place it in a position favourable to the observer. During 
the whole sitting the hands were outside the curtain, and, therefore, 
not in operation. In these circumstances manual help would be 
intelligible, and would not argue against the genuineness of the pheno- 
mena. In view of the careful control and the convincing positive 
results, too much importance should not be attached to this matter, 
even though we may not completely understand the negative indications, 
whose existence cannot be denied. Besides, in spite of the very sus- 
picious coincidence of the position of the images with that of the pin- 
holes, we have no complete proof, but only circumstantial evidence, 
that pins were used at all, and that the pin-holes were connected with 
the suspension of the images. For, when the cameras were being 
focused upon the places at which phenomena had previously appeared, 
sheets of newspapers had been pinned on in order to get the focus. 
This applies particularly to the kinematograph. We have the proofs 
in the test photographs, and in the testimony of the photographer 
concerned in the adjustment of the cameras. Thus my photographer 
writes as follows : — 

" Dear Sir, 

" In answer to your inquiry, I beg to say that I perfectly remember 
in one case, when I had no assistant, pinning a piece of newspaper to 
the black curtain of the cabinet in order to focus the cameras. It is 
quite probable that I fixed the same sheet, with the same pin, also on 
the back wall or on the chair, but this I cannot remember after all this 
time. 

" Yours, etc., 

" Dr Georg Hauberrisser." 

Much later, after the Munich sittings had been ended, a pin was found 
in the covering of the left arm-rest of the chair used by the medium. 
It was stuck in from below, so that only the head could be felt in the 
seam. Possibly the upholsterer who covered the chair had left the pin 
in the seam, so that there was a possibility of using it during the sittings. 

We may regard this point as unsettled. We may ignore it, or we 
may see in it some negative evidence, but whatever our view of the 
matter, it cannot alter the positive results already obtained. 

Finally, we must not forget that the phenomena continued just as 
before without any new pin-holes in the curtain, and without pins, in 
spite of more rigorous precautions for controlling the hands, and that 
the images were again fixed to the curtain without leaving pin-holes 
behind. We must conclude that in exploring the unknown country of 
mediumism we must count upon numerous surprises and contradictions, 
and that we have no right to admit one apparently inexplicable fact, 
and then to reject another fact, simply because it does not fit in with 
our suppositions. 



190 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

Sitting of the 23rd August 1912. 
Negative. 



Sitting of the 24th August 1912. 

Present. — Mme. Bisson, Dr Kafka (Privatdozent of Psychology), M. S., 

and the author. 

I quote the following from M. S.'s report of this sitting : — 

" There were three cameras in front of the cabinet and tM'o in the 
cabinet. There was a red light of medium intensity. Mme. Bisson 
put the medium into a trance, while Dr Kafka and I strictly controlled 
her hands. After a short time the medium's breathing became ster- 
torous, and after half an hour changed into strong gasping. The 
curtain was opened. The medium was greatly disturbed, moaned, and 
shook convulsively. Some grey mass appeared near her head. But 
I attributed this appearance to my fixed gaze in the red light, which 
came from the left. After a short time I saw near the medium's left 
ear a sharply-defined strip, about 6 inches long and \ inch wide, which 
was brought into the light and somehow disappeared suddenly from my 
view. The curtain was then closed, and the medium's stertorous 
breathing increased. The curtain then opened again, and the hands 
did not leave the curtains. Suddenly a large white mass appeared in 
front of the medium's head, as if emerging from behind the curtain. 
It was not quite so brightly illuminated as the strip had been, but had 
the distinct shape of a head in front view, somewhat like a roughly 
modelled and softened mask of white plaster, but of a softer consistency. 
It was observed for two or three seconds. The medium closed the cur- 
tain with a strong convulsive movement. The clenched hands did not 
apparently leave the curtains. After some time the breathing became 
quiet. Mme. Bisson went up to the medium and awakened her, while 
we carefully controlled her hands. The medium was then searched, 
in the bright light of the adjoining room, by Dr von Schrenck and 
Dr Kafka, but nothing was found." 

The author must add the following comments : — The phenomena 
only set in after an hour's waiting. The final searching did not take 
place in the adjoining room, but in the seance room itself. The medium 
was greatly frightened by the falling of an object into the flash-light 
box, and the phenomena ceased. Mme. Bisson had to enter the cabinet 
in order to calm Eva. The latter suffered from cough and general 
indisposition, and coughed some blood. The final examination was 
negative. 



Sittings of the 26th, 27th, 28th and 29th August 1912. 
Negative. 



SITTINGS OF JULY, AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER 1912 191 

Sitting of the 30th August 1912. 

Present. — Mme. Bisson, Dr Kafka, the author and his wife. 
Although Eva did not feel well this day, she had eaten heartily at 
7 o'clock, and was constantly under the supervision of Mme. Bisson, 
who would have noticed if she had concealed any object about her 
person. At the author's request, Mme. Bisson searched Eva's luggage 
do^vn to the last thread, without finding anything in the least suspicious. 
The medium was examined as detailed by Dr Kafka in his report, 
appended to the record of the sitting of 11th September {see below). 

The sitting commenced at 9.15 p.m. The medium went into a deep 
trance after hypnosis. She made loud gasping expirations, and whim- 
pered as if in pain, so that positive results were to be expected. 

The hands lay in the first instance on her knees, and the author, 
who sat on the right, could see her left hand through the gap in the 
curtain, and made sure that it remained immovable. 

Then followed about fifteen minutes, during which the curtain 
remained quite closed, and after this we saw on the medium's left 
shoulder a grey or brown strip resembling a veil, and falling over her 
upper arm into her lap. " The exposure was very short and the 
impression indistinct " (Dr Kafka's report). The curtain was then closed. 
Then we saw, while the medium's hands held the curtain, a white 
mass on her lap, which Dr Kafka describes as " a whitish indefinite mass 
about the size of a hand." 

From my place I could see an obviously flat finger, while Mme. Bisson 
saw the shape of a hand, and Kafka only saw an indefinite mass. While 
before this the curtain had been repeatedly opened and closed, " the 
medium's hands now remained constantly visible at the curtain " 
(Dr Kafka's report). 

Dr Kafka proceeds : "A change in the mass could not at first be 
seen during the exposures, which lasted only one or two seconds. But, 
later, two finger-shaped projections seem to have formed. After a 
considerable pause, during which the hands always remained at the 
curtains, the flat white mass in the medium's lap changed into a brownish 
structure resembling the shape of a scorpion." The author perceived 
irregular projections, which gave the impression of being soft and 
semi-liquid. The medium again closed the curtains without with- 
drawing her hands. After this the ladies and the author saw a white 
mass extending from the medium's head to her shoulder, but this was 
not seen by Dr Kafka. 

At a signal the author seized Eva's hands, while first Mme. Bisson 
and then the author's wife illuminated the cabinet with a white electric 
torch. Much terrified, Eva screamed, struggled, and gave cries of pain. 
The white mass disappeared instantly. But I saw on her right 
shoulder, where the throat joined the dress, a transparent fabric of 
mouse-grey colour, about 2J inches long and a little over an inch wide. 
I asked Dr Kafka to seize the piece. The medium screamed, struggled 
in my grasp, and made violent movements. Although Dr Kafka 
snatched at the piece as quickly as he could, he only succeeded in 
touching Eva's dress and the skin of her throat. The piece of fabric 
liad disappeared. It was only after we had made sure that what we 



192 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

had seen had disappeared that we withdrew the torch. According to 
Dr Kafka's report, the strip had a brownish colour, but the effect of 
the red hght on the apparent colour has to be taken into account. 
Dr Kafka writes as follows concerning this attempted exposure : — 

" At Dr von Schrenck's request I snatched at the substance, but the 
medium, moaning pitifully, made strong motions with her whole body, 
and especially with her neck, so that I could not seize anything. I felt 
no moisture on my hand. The lamp was extinguished and the medium 
retired behind the closed curtain, trembling, breathing heavily, moaning, 
and complaining of pains. Mme. Bisson also was greatly excited and 
incensed at this interference. Since the medium's condition did not 
improve, Mme. Bisson entered the cabinet and embraced her." Gradually 
the two ladies regained their composure. The forcible procedure had 
naturally produced a profound emotional disturbance in the medium. 

Yet she wished to continue the sitting and produce new phenomena 
for the flash-light photograph. She rose several times from her seat, 
stood in front of the curtain, and requested to be searched, but we 
declined and asked her to resume her seat. 

The author was convinced that nothing more would be seen, when 
suddenly the curtain was opened and the image of the type " Bisson " 
appeared in front of her face on a disk -like surface. It was immediately 
recognisable, and also showed the broad black strip over the forehead, 
as shown in Mme. Bisson's third series of photographs (Fig. 97). 

It must be said that, from this moment until the complete cessation 
of the phenomena, the medium's hands did not leave the curtain, and 
remained visible to all of us. 

The two ladies claimed to have seen that the image fell from above 
downwards and forwards over the medium's face. At the next opening 
the disk appeared on her right shoulder (without help of her hands). 
These occurrences followed very rapidly in one or two seconds, or just as 
much time as was required for the successive opening and closing of 
the curtains. After the last exposure she barely closed the curtain 
and opened it during the same second. She rose, stood in front of the 
cabinet, bent her head forward so that we could see the neck, and 
shook her head. The object we had seen had disappeared with lightning 
rapidity, like the switching off of an electric light. 

On this incident, Dr Kafka reports as follows : — 

" During a new exposure, a disk was seen more clearly on the right, 
lust by the head of the medium. She then quickly closed the curtain, 
lumped up, took a step outside the cabinet, requested to be searched, 
but was pushed back into her chair by Mme. Bisson. The medium had 
bent her head and trunk forward right out of the cabinet, so that we 
could see her neck, but we could see no trace of the phenomenon. After 
a pause the medium was seized with a violent cough and vomiting, 
and something was caught in her handkerchief. This turned out to 
be a grey crumb." 

We have above the report of two occurrences — first, an unsuccessful 
attempt at an exposure ; second, the subsequent appearance and dis- 




Fig. 114. Photograph of a 



LONG PATCH OX 'EVAS DRESS 



The parallel lines 



MARKED A show THE LINE OF THE WAIST. 




Fig. 115. Author's flashlight photograph of 10 September, 1912. 
On the left : Full picture. On the right : Enlargement. At top : Lateral 

VIEWS FROM WITHIN THE CABINET (c) AND FROM WITHOUT (d) . 



SITTINGS OF JULY, AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER 1912 193 

appearance of a disk -like image, with a male portrait within, a j few 
seconds, while the co-operation of the hands was excluded, 
f •^The sitting was closed at 11 o'clock, owing to Eva's exhaustion. 
The subsequent search in a white light, although conducted with the 
greatest care, remained without any result. During this process the 
medium fainted away. She had to be taken in the hypnotic condition 
to a couch in another room. She then recovered, but fell into another 
deep fainting fit, from which she was restored with the help of alcoholic 
stimulants. 

The medium was still in a state of trance when we conveyed her 
in a motor-car to her lodgings, where she was at once put to bed. The 
fainting fits were repeated three times in the night, and Mme. Bisson, 
who watched by her bed till 4 o'clock in the morning, took half an hour 
to bring her to, out of one of the fainting fits. 

When I visited Eva at 11 o'clock next morning, she was still in a 
dreamy state, complained of pains in her breasts, coughed and vomited 
about a wine-glass full of blood. 

The disturbance in the medium's condition lasted four days. We 
arranged a several days' excursion into the mountains. The fresh air 
and the excitement of the change of landscape gradually obliterated 
the traces of Eva's indisposition, so that we could resume the sittings 
on 6th September. 

During the subsequent examination of the cabinet, on 30th August, 
we found on the floor some small white particles, the largest of which 
was the size of a pea, and was flattened. They gave the impression 
of small balls of paper crushed with a shoe. The seance costume, 
especially the inside of the tights, showed a large number of particles 
resembling a fine dust. 

A microscopic examination of the white particles showed wood 
fibre, such as is used for the manufacture of paper and cardboard. We 
therefore probably have to deal with paper or a product resembling 
paper. The fine dust also consisted of wood fibre. This discovery 
might be explained by some paper adhering to the shoes of the person 
entering the cabinet, which was then detached in the cabinet, and that 
the tights had been thrown on the parquet floor and gathered some dust. 
The circumstances do not seem to have any connection with the pheno- 
mena. 

The small crumb, the size of a pin-head, which had been ejected 
from the mouth during the sitting, when microscopically examined, 
turned out to be a small piece of wood. Eva had visited a Somali 
village at the Munich Exhibition, and had there bought from a nigger 
one of the wooden rods they use for cleaning their teeth, such as they 
offer to every visitor, and had used it for the same purpose. A small 
piece of wood had stuck between her teeth, and had then been found, so 
that this circumstance also is explained in a natural manner. 



SiTTINGb OF THE 6TH AND 7TH SEPTEMBER 1912. 

Negative. 

N 



194 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

Sitting of the 8th September 1912. 

Present. — Mme. Bisson and the author. 

Control. — As in previous sittings. Time, 9 to 11 p.m. Tlie medium's 
hands were visible during the whole sitting. 

After about three-quarters of an hour the first phenomenon appeared 
in the shape of a fragment of fabric hanging from Eva's mouth. At 
the next opening of the curtain we saw wisps of material on the breast 
of the dress and in Eva's lap. Suddenly there appeared a grey cord, 
resembling twine, which appeared to consist of very fine twisted skin. 
It started between forefinger and thumb of the left hand, which was in 
front of the curtain, and continued in a straight line towards the 
medium's head, disappearing in the darkness of the cabinet. The 
curtains were opened only 1 or 2 inches, so that only the 6-inch piece 
outside the curtain was clearly visible. This stretched string then 
suddenly disappeared behind the curtain, reappearing immediately in 
the medium's lap. At least, I saw there a long line, faintly luminous, 
as if phosphorescent, which disappeared under my gaze. 

During this whole experiment Eva's hands had not left the curtain. 
Her body was quite steady, so that the phenomenon could be observed 
quietly for ten to fifteen seconds. 

On touching the medium's dress several times, it was noticed that 
the places where the material had appeared were moistened as with a 
sticky substance. Sitting closed. Final examination negative. 

An inspection of the dress showed on the breast, and in the lap, a 
number of irregular whitish-grey spots. The most conspicuous of these 
was a strip 9 inches long and 2 or 3 inches broad below the waist, which 
was placed just where I had seen the luminous cord disappear. We 
may therefore conclude that this strip remained on the dress as the 
residue of the cord-like substance. 

The author considered this connected observation so important 
that he caused the patch to be photographed (Fig. 114) and some 
microscopic preparations to be made of the residue and of the other 
spots. The analj'sis will be given in a special chapter in connection with 
similar later discoveries. 

Sitting of the 9th September 1912. 

Present. — Mme. Bisson, Dr Kafka, M. S., and the author. 

Duration, 9 to 11.15 p.m. Control as on 30th August 1912. 

It was only at 10.30 p.m. that a bright wisp became visible on the 
dress, which moved over to the left at the level of Eva's upper arm, 
while her hands and body were motionless. It was about half an inch 
wide, and over 2 inches long. 

Sitting closed. Final examination negative. 

When Eva, on the evening of the 9th September, had returned to 
her lodgings, she suddenly cried in her room, " Quelquechose sort de 
moi ! " and could hardly be pacified. Mme. Bisson put her to bed at 
once, and on examining her, she found a mass, 4 inches long and 1 \ inches 



SITTINGS OF JULY, AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER 1912 195 

thick, projecting from Eva's vagina. But when she tried to seize it, 
it was drawn in with a sudden jerk (Mme. Bisson's report). 



Sitting of 10th September 1912. 

Present. — Mme. Bisson, Dr Kafka, M, S., the author and his wife. 

Control and hypnotism as on 30th August 1912. 

In spite of the medium's strong exertions (deep expirations), it was 
only after three-quarters of an hour that the curtain was opened (the 
medium's hands were partly invisible), and a white mass appeared on 
her left at the level of her shoulder. This process is described by 
Dr Kafka as follows : — 

" It was only at a later exposure that I could observe that a white 
head-shaped disk moved past the medium's head from the left. During 
this phenomenon the medium's hands were visible at the curtain. The 
medium then completely closed the curtain, in order, as she said, to 
gather force, and during this pause she on one occasion closed the curtain 
particularly tightly from within. During the next exposure two white 
structures, resembling arms, appeared twice, which both appeared to 
proceed from the medium's mouth." 

M. S. perceived a fairly large grey mass coming from the left at 
the level of the medium's shoulder, and compared it in appearance to 
extremely fine muslin, having the colour of smoke, which, however, 
did not give the impression of lightness, but fell by gravitation, and might 
have been a moist textile fabric. The phenomenon disappeared while 
the curtain remained open, and Eva's hands remained at the curtain. 

The author had the impression as if another personality, standing' 
behind the curtain, had suddenly moved a white disk towards the 
medium's head and withdrawn it, while the curtains were steadily 
open, and were held by both the medium's visible hands. The successive 
exposures occurred at such a rate that the visual impression was too 
fugitive to perceive any detail concerning the shape and appearance. 
On my questioning them, the two men both said that the structure 
resembled an arm. Although the author feared to be too late with 
the ignition of the flash-light, he still decided to switch it on as quickly 
as possible during the next exposure. This was done, the plates were 
changed, and I was quite in the dark as to what had been photographed. 
But of one thing I was certain, and that was that this white object had 
been photographed at the moment of its quickest motion, and its 
greatest independence of the medium's body. 

Mme. Bisson declared that she had seen the shape of a head in the 
flash-light. The ignition of the flash-light produced a crisis in Eva, 
which was dealt with by Mme. Bisson. 

The sitting was closed, and the final examination gave a negative 
result. 

The development of the plates (Fig. 115) showed as a result the 
profile of a female head nearly normal in size, but slightly smaller than 
Eva's head. We have here to deal with a flat, sharply defined portrait, 



196 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

with a neck-piece which appears comparativelyj^broad. It^^is freely 
suspended in a direction at right angles to the medium's temple. The 
lace, with its regular features, Just covers^Eva's left ear, and it looks 
as if the nose and forehead touched the medium, but that is only a 
guess, since the photographs do not decide this point. All the rest of 
the silhouette of the head hangs free, the back of it standing higher 
than the front. 

The structure gives the impression of an unfolded paper, as is 
suggested by the many parallel creases. The hinder portion of the 
head appears entirely enveloped in a dark grey cloth, or perhaps the 
dark covering is intended to produce the impression of hair. The 
forehead is strongly arched and low. The nose is short, the lips small 
and curved, with a projecting upper lip and dimples, the chin is strong 
and middle-sized. The deep-set eyes are directed upwards. The ear 
is indicated, but by a fault of drawing it is placed too far backwards. 
The neck is broad. The two last points tell against a portrait from 
natm-e. A transparent veil, with its hem commg from chin to ear, 
covers the face. 

We certainly have not to do with the same picture as was produced 
on the 15th August. For on the latter we find a higher and less pro- 
jecting forehead, and much longer nose of different shape, as well as 
other small deviations. 

The stereoscopic view from the top of the cabinet corroborates this 
description, and shows, apart from the fiat and pictorial character, 
two strong-marked vertical folds, like those of a concertina, as if the 
paper had been mifolded towards the right and left. From the stand- 
pomt of a purely objective judgment of the photograph, without any 
consideration of the expeiimental conditions, we should have to 
conclude that we have to deal with a profile of a head, drawn on a 
foundation of textile fabric or paper, and afterwards cut out, folded 
up, and then again unfolded, retaining traces of the folds. 

As regards the artistic treatment, we miss the naturalistic character. 
Like many of the previous ones, it appears conventional and stereo- 
typed in expression. Yet the features themselves are well modelled. 
Again we see the great contrast : on the one hand, the mediumistic 
phenomenon photographed under the best conditions while in rapid 
motion ; and, on the other hand, the disappointing negatives : the 
shape of a head, apparently cut out of paper or some textile fabric, 
and provided with pictorial detail. 

A one-sided scepticism will surely arrive at an unfavourable con- 
clusion. But, even after taking into accomit all the actual circum- 
stances, the question remains unsolved : How can such a picture be 
produced, and disappear, and move freely without the co-operation of 
the medium's hands V 

Sitting of the 11th September 1912. 

Present. — Mme. Bisson, Dr Kafka, M. S., the author and his wife. 

Control, illumination, and hypnotisation as on 30th August 1912. 
Time, 9 to 11.30 p.m. 



SITTINGS OF JULY, AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER 1912 197 

Hardly had the curtain been closed when long stertorous expirations 
were heard, accompanied by deep tones, recpllin^ the " belling " of 
stags. A single expiration lasted for from five to twenty seconds. 
Eva's whole behaviour indicated a deep degree of trance (in the 
mediumistic language, " Elle etait prise "). The moaning and pressing 
wa"^ interrupted by whimpering ciies of pain. 

The phenomena commenced at once after hypnosis. I may remark 
here that the whole sitting was devoted to the root phenomenon of 
materialisation, i.e., the generation, motion, and disappearance of the 
plastic substance, and that during the several hours of the sitting the 
curtains remained uninterruptedly open. The process of materialisa- 
tion began on the medium's left breast, about the level of her shoulder. 
Later, the phenomenon was seen at various places — on the front of her 
dress and in her lap. The visible material took the shape of wisps, 
cords, shreds, and projections, and especially of a very fine mouse- 
coloured skin, of a transparent texture, resembling spider's web. The 
colour often appeared a reddish-violet, or resembled dull red rubber on 
a base of black velvet. On one occasion a long strip developed before 
the eyes of those present out of an apparently phosphorescent, reddish, 
and seemingly liquid patch, but it grew pale and disappeared as quickly 
as it had come. 

With Eva's consent, the fairly wide strips on her breast, three or 
four in number, were illuminated by white electric light and touched 
with the fingers. Under the influence of the light they lost their red 
colour and their visibility. The touch showed a sticky colourless 
substance. In the author's opinion, this ver}^ fine fabric is liquefied 
by the influence of light. 

Dr Kafka believes that the wisp reflects the light, and thus acquires 
the appearance of a solid substance of definite shape. 

Dr Kafka says about this : — " During the next opening a wisp 
appeared near the medium's shoulder and left breast, which, though 
partly reflecting the light, actually consisted of drops of liquid, as 
could be proved by illumination and touch. The liquid moistened the 
hand, and when rubbed off with a handkerchief, left distinct traces. 
Then suddenly, while the medium held the curtain open, a ragged strip 
of a broTVTiish colour appeared on the medium's left hand. The medium's 
hands and chest were clearly visible during these phenomena, since the 
curtain was always held open. The lower arm and elbows were, however, 
in the dark. After some time the strip disappeared, as if suddenly 
jerked upwards." 

On this the author remarks as follows : — " The impression of this 
phenomenon was as if, from the sleeve, a rather voluminous brown 
earthworm, about 3 or 4 inches long, had crept on to the back of the 
left hand, nearly down to the knuckles. The front portion of this self- 
moving shape turned in the form of a hook, as if it wanted to return. 
But suddenly the whole structure was jerked back, and disappeared as 
it had come." 

— ' M. S, describes^^his impressions as follows : — " Suddenly there 
appeared in front of the curtain, on the medium's left hand as it lay 
on her left knee, a dark strip, or ribbon, ending in a strongly indented, 
leaf-shaped, terminal about the size of half-a-crown, which moved in 



198 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

the direction of the knuckles, and jerked several times backwards and 
forwards." 

All the three observers agree in having seen on the medium's left 
hand a rather long ribbon -shaped substance, having a motion of its 
own. To the same class of phenomena belongs the following, described 
by Dr Kafka : — " The medium requested me to give her my hand, so 
that the material might be laid upon it. Three times in succession a 
strip of material appeared, which seemed to emerge from the darkness 
above, and was drawn over the palm of my hand, giving me the impres- 
sion as if somebody had drawn the end of a rope lightly across it." 

M. S. gives the following graphic description of his impressions of 
these phenomena : — " Suddenly we saw, proceeding from the left 
shoulder towards the medium's heart and lap, some clouds of thick, 
greyish-red masses, which laid themselves over the hands of Dr Kafka 
and the Baroness von Schrenck, filled the latter's hand, and flowed 
over it, in the shape of a twisted band, having the thickness of the 
cord of a dressing-gown, into the medium's lap, where they deposited 
themselves like heavy cigarette smoke in the folds of the dress, and 
subsequently withdrew themselves. Dr Kafka and Baroness von 
Schrenck emptied their hands into a porcelain dish, and a small residue 
of a dark liquid remained behind in the white dish. During this process 
I did not observe the medium. Mme. Bisson requested the medium 
to place some material in the dish herself. The small dish was held in 
the medium's lap. The mass advanced and retired, laid itself like a 
smoke ring into the small dish, withdrew again from it, entered it again, 
and finally about 1 c. cm. of the dark liquid remained in the dish, 
which was then covered and put away. At about the same time the 
head of the medium — who was greatly excited, and who shook con- 
vulsively and groaned deeply at each touching of the mass— was bent 
forward, and appeared covered with large curved masses resembling 
curls." 

The same phenomenon is described by Dr Kafka in the following 
words : — " During the pause the curtains this time remained open. 
The medium's hands were distinctly visible, and I held her right hand 
with my left. The medium's hands lay on her knees, and I suddenly 
felt my hands moistened with liquid. Mme. Bisson took the porcelain 
dish, in order to catch the mateiial. Then we saw several times pieces 
of brownish material, which at first remained suspended over the dish, 
at a certain distance, then lightly touched it, until finally a distinctly 
visible brown strip of a textile appearance, seeming to come from the 
medium's head, entered the dish and remained in it about four seconds, 
then disappeared at once, appearing to leave behind a liquid precipitate. 
Immediately after this the medium put my hand into her mouth, so 
that I might examine it, but I could only feel the teeth and the tip of 
the tongue, and nothing else. The medium then expressed a wish to 
take off the tights, and did this, against the advice of Mme. Bisson, 
who, however, finally helped her to do so. The medium took my hand 
several times and guided it to her breast or her lap, so that I could 
always make sure that the outside of the dress was moistened with liquid. 
Once she put my hand on her breast, and I suddenly noticed that a 
smooth and quite soft piece of material moved upwards under my hand. 



SITTINGS OF JULY, AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER 1912 199 

then returned and placed itself on the back of my hand, whence it 
finally disappeared upwards. At the level of her navel a piece of the 
same material, a few inches long, seemed to emerge from the dress and 
then to withdraw itself. At the level of her breast some liquid matter, 
in the form of drops, emerged twice from the dress, and, on one occasion, 
spurted with considerable pressure into my hand. The material, on 
its emergence, appeared warm, darker than my hand, and had no 
recognisable taste or smell, although the medium's hands are strongly 
perfumed, and this perfume was transferred to my hand. I wiped off 
the liquid with my handkerchief, but Mme. Bisson had already got 
some of the liquid in her hand, and let it drop into the porcelain dish, 
. even before a strip of the material had entered it. 

" After a pause for rest, during which the curtains were entirely 
closed, the medium tried, at Mme. Bisson's request, to produce a 
phenomenon in her lap. After some exposures giving no result, some 
browiiish material appeared in her lap, and some white substance on 
her head, and after a further pause a white substance, the size of her 
hand, appeared in her lap. During an attempt to make a kinemato- 
graph record of this substance, the medium, screaming loudly, fell into 
a fit, and was pacified by Mme. Bisson in the usual way in the cabinet. 
After this the liquid phenomenon showed itself a few more times, and 
during the subsequent examination Dr von Schrenck found the medium's 
skin to be dry." 

In the above reports the author quotes from the observers present, 
because they sat in front of him, and therefore stood in direct relation 
with the medium. As a supplement to Kafka's report, I may say that 
the colour of the material can vary. Sometimes it looks quite white, 
then reddish, by reflection of the red light, resembling red rubber, 
which Kafka probably expresses by the word " brownish." The 
bits and strips are sometimes dark mouse-grey, and grow brighter the 
thinner and more transparent the structure. The liquid in the porcelain 
dish gave a viscous impression, but a fine grey film seemed to cover 
its surface, and the chemist who examined the liquid could give no 
information about this film. "" 

That it is not a case of dust, but of a special substance, is clear from 
similar later observations, with the same medium, in Paris, where a 
grey film was also observed to lie over the liquid. This observation 
corresponds with that of the colour of the veil-like fabric. It was only 
after two hours of observation through the continually opened curtains 
that we regarded the sitting as practically closed for that day, and gave 
our consent to the complete closing of the curtains, so that Eva might 
rest undisturbed and collect power for the kinematograph experiment. 

M. S. and the author went up to the kinematograph, which stood 
10 feet from the curtain. Even at that distance we observed the 
materialisation process between the medium's knees, where, at Mme. 
Bisson's request, the mass was to appear. M. S. and the aulJior 
saw a ribbon-shaped white mass about the size of a hand. The electric 
arc Avas turned on and M. S. worked the apparatus. The medium fell 
into a screaming fit and immediately closed the curtains. This ended 
the sitting. 

Final control negative, but the dress was full of whitish spots 



200 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

which remained moist after the sitting, just in the places where the 
structures had been observed. The tights showed nothing unusual. 
The kinematograph experiment was a total failure. It appears that 
the film was spoilt by a mistake in the subsequent treatment. 



REPORT OF PRIVATDOZENT DR KAFKA 

CONCERNING THE 
SITTINGS OF 30th AUGUST AND IOTH AND llTH SEPTEMBER 1912. 

The initial examination is the same for all the sittings. I examined the cabinet with 
the electric torch, felt the walls, floor and curtains, to make sure that nothing was hidden 
behind them. A similar examination was made of the wickerwork chair covered with black 
cloth and placed in the cabinet. I also examined the medium's black dress, outside and 
inside, by incident and transmitted light. This costume was handed to the medium, who put 
it on in a neighbouring room. When she returned, she was examined by Dr von Schrenck, 
who passed his hand over the bare trunk and legs, as well as outside over the feet and toes. 
After this examination, the medium was sewn into the costume by Mme. Bisson in the 
presence of the sitters, the tights being sewn to the waist of the dress, the sleeves being 
sewn round the wrist. After this, Dr von Schrenck made the medium open her mouth 
and blow, and examined her nose, hair and ears. The medium was allowed to retain her 
hairpins. She then entered the brightly lighted seance room and sat on the chair inside 
the cabinet, the curtains of which were open. While I stood by and observed the motions 
of the medium and Mme. Bisson, Mme. Bisson took the medium's hands, and put her into 
a trance, by fixing her gaze. The medium lay back in her chair. Mme. Bisson withdrew 
in the full light, and I closed the curtains. Then the white light was switched ofi", and 
the illumination consisted of five electric lamps (total candle-power 100, according to von 
Schrenck), enclosed in ruby glass globes. After the eye had got adapted to the light, one 
could read large print, at a distance of 2 or 3 yards from the lamps. 

SITTING OF THE 30th AUGUST 1912. 

Present. — Mme. Bisson, Dr von Schrenck, his ■wife, and myself. 

Initial control and hypnotisation as described. 

After some time the medium opened the curtain, and a strip of greyish-brown matter 
seemed to lie on her left shoulder. The exposure was, however, very short and the im- 
pression was indistinct. The medium then closed the curtains completely, so that the 
hands were not \'isible, but soon the curtain opened slightly, so that one could observe the 
medium's hands through the gap, and see that they were describing grinding motions on 
her knees. The medium then opened the curtain completely, and we saw, in her lap, a 
whitish, indistinct mass about the size of a hand. Several times the curtain was opened 
and closed, but from this moment the hands always remained visible at the curtain. 
During the various exposures, which lasted one or two seconds, no change in the mass 
could at first be discerned, but afterwards two finger-shaped projections seemed to have 
formed. After a lengthy pause, during which the hands remained visible, the white flat 
mass in the medium's lap was replaced by a brownish structure, approximately of the 
shape of a scorpion. After a short exjjosure of the phenomenon the medium again closed 
the curtain. At the next opening of the curtain Dr von 'Schrenck and Mme. Bisson 
declared they saw a white mass on the left shoulder which, however, I could not confirm. 
This mass was then illuminated by Mme. Bisson with a torch, while Dr von Schrenck held 
the medium's hands. The medium made convulsive movements, and the white mass on 
the left shoulder disappeared, according to the other observers. On the right side of the 
neck there now appeared a thin brownish strip, emerging from the dress by a few inches, 



REPORT OF PRIVATDOZENT DR KAFKA 201 

which in structure resembled a coarse, porous, textile fabric. This strip did not alter it« 
appearance during the three or four seconds that it remained visinle. At Dr von 
Schrenck's request, I snatched at the substance, but the medium, whining pitifully, made 
violent motions with the whole body, and especially the neck, so that I got nothing, nor 
did I feel any moisture on my hand. The lamp was switched off and the medium retired 
behind completely closed curtains, trembling and breathing deeply, moaning and com- 
plaining of pains. Mme. Bisson also appeared very excited and incensed at this interfer- 
ence. As the medium's state did not improve, Mme. Bisson entered the cabinet and 
embraced her. She was then pacified, and Mme. Bisson's excitement subsided. 

The medium then opened the curtains several times, though nothing was to be 
seen. After several such unsuccessful exposures, a disk, resembling a head, appeared 
in front of the medium's face. The medium closed the curtain again, but in such a 
way that, during the whole phenomenon, the hands remained visible. During the 
next exposure the disk was seen more distinctly on the right, quite near the head of 
the medium, who then quickly closed the curtain, jumped up, took a step outside the 
cabinet, and expressed a wish to be searched, but was pushed back into her chair by 
Mme. Bisson. The medium had bent her head and shoulders forward quite outside 
the cabinet, so that we could see her neck, but we could not see a trace of the phenomenon. 
After a pause, the medium had a violent cough and vomited. The vomit was caught 
in a handkerchief, and the sitting was closed. The medium emerged from the cabinet, 
and was examined by Dr von Schrenck in the same way as at the beginning. The 
result of the search was negative. During the examination the medium fainted, and 
had to be taken away in a state of hyjanosis. During the subsequent examination of 
the cabinet, a pellet, the size of a finger-nail, resembling paper, was found on the floor 
of the cabinet. A further test proved it to be paper of unknown origin. In the 
vomit, we found a grey crumb, about the size of a pin-head, which, on analysis, was 
found to be chewed wood. According to Mme. Bisson, the medium had, on that 
afternoon, chewed some wood. Nothing else was found in the handkerchief or in 
the cabinet. 



SITTING OF THE 10th SEPTEMBER 1912. 

Present. — Mme. Bisson, Dr von Schrenck and his wife, M. S., and myself. 

Initial control and hypnotisation as usual. 

The curtain was completely closed so that the hands of the medium were also 
invisible. After waiting three-quarters of an hour, the curtain opened several times 
without result, and, after that, the other observers claimed to see a white strip over 
the left shoulder. I could only observe during the later exposure, that a white disk, 
resembling a head, moved across the medium's head from the left, while the medium's 
hands were visible at the curtain. The medium then closed the curtain completely 
in order, as she said, to collect power, and during this pause she once closed the 
curtain from within particularly tightly. 

During the next exposures, two white structures resembling arms appeared twice. 
I had the impression that they jiroceeded from the medium's mouth. The ])henomenon 
looked as if a rolled-up rubber tube (like that used in a well-known toy) was unrolled 
by blowing into it. The phenomena disappeared while the curtain remained open, 
and the manner of disappearance could not be accurately observed. For the third 
time an elongated structure appeared, which, to M. S. and myself, resembled an arm 
reaching down from the medium's left shoulder. This phenomenon was photographed 
while the medium's hands grasped the curtain. The ignition of the flash-light produced 
a crisis in the medium, and to pacify her, Mme. Bisson bent over her and embraced her. 
The curtain was again closed, but, in spite of all the medium's eflbrts, no furtlier phenomena 
were seen. 

The medium again has a violent fit of sickness, vomiting mucus and blood, and 
in the mucus there are again small crumbs, which, however, this time, according to a 
microsco])ic examination made at Dr von Schrenck's request, consisted of food fragments. 
During the final control Mme. Bisson objected to Dr von Schrenck opening the seam by 
which the tights are fastened to the medium's dress, and performed that service herself. 
The searching of the medium and the cabinet was carried out as before, and gave a 
negative result. 



202 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

SITTING OF THE 11th SEPTEMBER 1912. 

Present. — Mme. Bisson, Dr von Schrenck and his wife, M. S. and myself. 

Initial examination and hypnotisation as usual. 

The medium's hands were not at first visible. The phenomena commenced very soon, 
and, in the first instance, some white beckoning forms appeared above the medium's head, 
rather resembling those tube-like structures which, in the last sitting, appeared to proceed 
from her mouth. Mme. Bisson then asked the medium whether she would permit any 
illumination of the plienomena, and received an answer in the affirmative. During the 
next exposure, a strip appeared on the left breast which, in part, reflected the light, and 
actually consisted of drops of liquid, as could be proved by illumination and touch. The 
liquid moistened the hand, and when wiped off with a handkerchief left distinct traces. 
Suddenly there appeared, on the medium's left hand which held the curtain open, a ragged 
strip of brownish colour. The medium's hands and chest were steadily visible during these 
phenomena, as the curtain was open, but the lower arms and elbows were in the dark. 
After some time the strip disappeared, as if it were suddenly jerked upwards. Then Mme. 
Bisson laid her hand, which I lield in my own, on that of the medium, and requested that 
the materia] should appear on her head in front of the curtain. That did not happen, but 
the medium requested me to give her my hand so that the material might be laid upon it. 
Then, three times in succession, a strip of material appeared, as if emerging out of the dark- 
ness above, and it crossed the palm of my hand, giving the impression as if somebody 
lightly drew the end of a rope across my hand. During the pause, the curtains remained 
opened all the time. The medium's hands were distinctly visible, and I held her right 
hand with my left. The medium's hands lay on her knees, and I suddenly felt my hands 
moistened with liquid. Mme. Bisson took the porcelain dish, in order to catch the 
material. Then we saw, several times, pieces of the brownish material, which, at first, 
remained suspended over the porcelain dish at a certain distance, then lightly touched it, 
until, finally, a distinctly visible brown strip of a textile appearance, seeming to come from 
the medium's head, entered the dish, and remained in it about four seconds. It then dis- 
appeared upwards, appearing to leave behind a liquid precipitate. Immediately after this, 
the medium put my hand into her mouth, so that I might examine it, but I could only 
feel the teeth and the tip of the tongue, and nothing else. The medium then expressed 
a wish to take off the tights, and did this against the advice of Mme. Bisson who, however, 
finally helped her to do so. The medium took my hand several times and guided it to her 
breast or her lap, so that I could make sure that the outside of the dress was moistened 
with liquid. Once she put my hand on her breast, and I suddenly noticed that a smooth, 
and quite soft piece of material moved upwards under my hand, then returned and placed 
itself on the back of my hand, whence it finally disappeared upwards. At the level of her 
navel a piece of the same material, a few inches long, seemed to emerge from the dress, and 
then to withdraw itself. At the level of her breast some liqi;id matter, in the form of 
drops, emerged twice through the dress, and on one occasion spurted with considerable 
pressure into my hand. The material on its emergence appeared warm, darker than my 
hand, and had no recognisable taste or smell, although the medium's hands are strongly 
perfumed, and this perfume was transferred to my hand. I wiped off the liquid with my 
handkerchief, but Mme. Bisson had already got some of the liquid in her hand, and let it 
drop into the porcelain dish, even before a strip of the material had entered. 

After a pause for rest, during which the curtains were entirely closed, the medium 
tried, at Mme. Bisson's request, to produce a phenomenon in her lap. 

After some exposures giving no result, some brownish material appeared in 
her lap, and some white substance on her head, and, after a further pause, a white 
substance, the size of her hand, appeared in her lap. During an attempt to make a kine- 
matograph record of this substance, the medium, screaming loudly, fell into a fit, and was 
pacified by Mme. Bisson in the usual way, in the cabinet. After this, the liquid pheno- 
menon showed a few more times. During the subsequent examination, Dr von Schrenck 
found the medium's skin to be dry. An examination of her genitals was resisted by Mme. 
Bisson. Various white spots remained on the dress where the teleplasm had appeared. 
Nothing remarkable in the cabinet. 

The result of the observations I should summarise as follows : 

The sittings did not appear absolutely convincing, either in the negative or in the 
positive sense. One cannot maintain that in the first sitting the substance emerging 
from the neck had disappeared in my hands, since the possibility is not excluded that a 
substance of slight consistency might have been rubbed into the skin by the medium's 



REPORT OF PRIVATDOZENT DR KAFKA 203 

raovem«nLs. Mine. Bisson's entrance into the cabinet during the crises of the medium 
supplies, of course, a source of error which Crinnot be neglected, although the sitters did 
not protest against it, in order to avoid any possible injury to the medium's health by the 
long-continued crisis, and also in order not to produce an unfavourable impression on the 
disposition of the two ladies, who are in close "rapport," and thus interfere with the success 
of the sittings. The initial and final examinations only prove that no bulky ol)ject is 
concealed anywhere, but are hardly sufficient absolutely to exclude the possibility that an 
artificial product, packed into an infinitesimal volume, was smuggled in, and afterwards 
disposed of by some trick, such as swallowing or rubbing out. The folds visible in the 
photographs of lieads are suspicious in any case. Any experience gained at these sittings 
only seems to prove that the medium's hands take no part in the modifications and dis- 
appeai'ances of the substance before the crisis, nor in the change of place of the head-like 
disk after the crisis. But I must remark that in two photographs, which Dr von Schrenck 
kindly sliowed me, the medium's right hand is oVwiously concerned in the motion of the 
phenomenon, while on the right knee there is, in one case, an amorphous mass, and in 
another case a mass resembling a hand, which might be intended to simidate the presence 
of a real hand. I cannot indeed confirm this hypothesis by my own experience, but the 
repeated request, made by the medium to the sitters, to fill up the pauses between the 
phenomena with conversation, might indicate an attempt to divert attention. The photo- 
graph of the phenomenon occurring in the second sitting furnishes a very remarkable proof 
of the unreliable character of visual perceptions, showing, as it does, that a phenomenon 
described by two observers as resembling an arm was, in reality, a well- developed head. 
On the other hand, it is remarkable that the stereoscopic photograph gives the impression 
that the medium's head, the phenomenon, and the curtain Avere only a short distance 
apart from each other, while in reality the phenomenon was about 20 inches from the 
curtain, and its distance from the medium's head cannot be accurately determined. The 
great uncertainty of the sense organs seems also indicated by the fact that the other observers 
sometimes claimed to see cloud-like phenomena, dotted with luminous points, while these 
appearances were obviously really produced by subjective excitation of the retina. 

In the third sitting we find that the liquid which appeared to come from the dress 
moistened it in several places. The responsibility as to whether Eva had concealed 
under the dress some bladder filled with liquid mixst l)e laid upon the initial examination. 
Dr von Schrenck and M. S. also maintain that the liqviid did not come out of the medium's 
mouth, a point to which I paid no attention. I could not observe that the brownish 
ragged material was converted into liquid, for I saw either a material liquid from the 
beginning in the form of drops, or I saw ragged fragments of it executing gliding motions 
and disappearing into the dark. On the other hand, the amount of liquid collected in 
the sitters' hands, and dropped into the porcelain dish, seems to have increased after 
the material had laid itself into the dish, and had again disappeared from it. But I 
should not care to assert definitely that the ragged material had converted itsejf into 
li(iuid, or vice versa. I cannot also say whether the medium's head was always motionless 
during the jerking motions of the ragged material, as Dr von Schrenck and M. S. 
maintain, but these motions did indeed appear to take place without the co-operation 
of the medium's hands, trunk, or feet. 

The microscopic investigation gives the typical structure of an albuminous liquid 
filled with cells, with or without nuclei (epithelium). In my own preparation there are 
also fat globules. Although Dr von Schrenck did not detect the presence of fat in his 
preparations, the question as to whether the liquid is to be described as colostrum should 
be more closely investigated, and the medium should be examined for accessory milk 
glands. Also the possibility of a profuse perspiration, or the secretion of lymph, is not 
to be discarded a priori. As regards the time distribution of the phenomena, it should 
be said that the sitting of 30th August was the first positive sitting after five nestatire 
ones at which I had been present, also that, after the crisis of the 30th August, on 
account of the medium's exhaustion, no sittings took place for a week, and that the 
sitting of 9th Septemlier (the fourth after tlie crisis, but tlie first at which I again 
assisted) was also without result. 

Final Remarks on the Munich Sittings. 

The exposure scene at the sitting of 30th August had really a negative 
result, yet Dr Kafka does not perhaps consider this evidential, since 



204 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

he had not seen the manifestation on the left, which disappeared before 
our eyes. On the other hand, he admits that the veil-like piece observed 
by him on the right shoulder was withdrawn from his gaze. It is not 
clear whether it disappeared from our observation by an unknown 
process, or whether the veil-like fragment was removed by movements 
of the neck and shoulders. The process is still mysterious if, as Dr Kafka 
assumes, the piece had been rubbed away, for it would surely have left 
traces on the dress or on the body, whereas no such traces were found. 

That Mme. Bisson's presence could not explain a sinf?le one of the 
phenomena was already proved finally in previous sittings. The experi- 
menter cannot be expected to go through this unpleasant part of the 
proof from the beginning at the entry of every new savant into the 
sittings. Besides, there is no reasonable justification for throwing 
suspicion on Mme. Bisson, simply because the phenomena cannot be 
explained through the medium alone, and because it so happens that, 
in this case, an experimenter of the female sex trained the medium 
with indefatigable patience and self-sacrifice, and demonstrates the 
result. Even with all the precautions taken on the 15th August, which 
have almost the effect of vivisection in the case of a sensitive person, 
every unprejudiced observer of good will, open eyes, and clear intellect 
can easily recognise that the occurrence of phenomena is not, in any 
case, bound up with Mme. Bisson's personality, but Mme. Bisson does 
know how to foster the phenomena by her great educative and suggestive 
influence. Furthermore, her entrance into the cabinet, during the two 
sittings described by Dr Kafka, was necessitated by the strong nervous 
crises produced on the medium in the first sitting by our attempted 
exposure ; and in the second, by the author's unexpected switching-on 
of the electric light, i.e., solely by our own conduct. And when all is 
said, there is surely a legal and moral responsibility resting on those 
immediately concerned as to the medium's health. Our own procedure 
alone (and the author does not exclude himself) produced on 30th August 
several profound and genuine fainting fits of the medium. 

In these investigations we are face to face with unknown quantities 
which must be respected ; with a subject which has its own conditions, 
and cannot be treated like a mathematical formula, or like a piece of 
mechanical clockwork. 

Occurrences which depend to such a great extent upon the psychical 
adjustment, not only of the medium but of all those present, cannot, 
in spite of their real existence, as yet aspire to the objective force of 
demonstration that is insisted upon in a physical, or even a physiological, 
experiment. 

The possibility of an adjustment of these phenomena to conditions 
prescribed by us, and by our habitual mode of thought, has distinct 
limits. When these are reached, it is the business of the investigator 
to accept the laws peculiar to the new region in the light of previous 
experience, and to alter the experimental conditions accordingly. 1^^ 

If a small artificial product could be smuggled in, in a small compass, 
as Dr Kafka believes, in spite of the control, the initial control would 
have entirely failed in its object. If the possibility of an exact initial 
examination is denied in principle, and conjuring thus declared to be 
almighty, that means the abandonment of all evidential determinations. 



FINAL REMARKS ON THE MUNICH SITTINGS 205 

So long as no details^are given^^as to how and where such artificial 
products are hidden, a general assertion of this kind can only be taken 
as a confession that the critic is baffled, or that^he is dissatisfied as to 
the accuracy of the control. But these two assumptions must be 
rejected, since the initial control was carried out with every care, and 
we can say, quite definitely, that such packets are not hidden either on 
the body of the medium or in her dress. So long as the control is not 
proved inaccurate, the assumption lacks all justification ; or, to put it 
legally, it is not the accused who has to prove his innocence, but his 
accusers alone who are bound to produce proof of his guilt. The right 
to an assertion of guilt does not exist in law so long as the proof is not 
brought. 

A special discussion is required of the question of hysterical rumina- 
tion, brought forward by Dr Kafka. The fact that hysterical patients 
can sometimes bring up into their mouths objects they have swallowed, 
by an antiperistaltic motion, after the fashion of ruminating animals, 
cannot be doubted, although the cases are rare, and require special 
pathological conditions. By numerous observations, and even by 
photography, the part played by the mouth in the phenomena is well 
defined. This objection, already considered by the author on a previous 
occasion, is in any case worthy of discussion. A number of circumstances 
could be adduced in favour of this hypothesis : the emergence of the 
substance from the mouth, the repeated appearance of shreds hanging 
out of it, the frequent vomiting of blood after the sittings (where the 
gullet was proved to be the origin by microscopic examination), the 
repeated disappearance of the substance into the mouth, and the 
mixture of saliva with the material, as proved in Biarritz, all these are 
weighty arguments for the theory. 

It cannot, and must not, be denied that the ^organs of respiration 
and nutrition appear to be concerned in many cases in the production 
of the substance, even if we assume a special possibility of mediumistic 
production of this transitory matter. But, in the first place, a proof is 
required that hysterical rumination occurs at all in Eva's case, for after 
two years of observation no indication of this has been noted by her 
daily companions. 

Hysterical rumination is a pathological act of vomiting which is 
voluntary on the part of the person concerned. But such a person 
cannot make any selection among the contents of his stomach. He 
must vomit whatever is there at the time, i.e., food diluted with liquids 
and gastric juice. In bringing up a swallowed object, traces of the con- 
tents of the stomach and of gastric juice would certainly be brought up as 
well, which would leave spots on the dress, and thus betray their origin. 

In the case of the present investigations, we have only to consider 
products consisting of paper, or of some textile fabric (wool, cotton, 
thread, silk), i.e., soft materials capable of being folded up. But such 
soft, fibrous preparations, in the form of small packets, would in any 
case be attacked, decomposed, softened, and impregnated by the gastric 
juice and the liquid contents of the stomach. They would show distinct 
traces of where they had been. They could hardly have that clearness, 
firmness, and diversity of form found in the materialisation products, 
but would show a defective and softened condition. 



206 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

The process would be still more difficult if these products were 
packed in a solid case, which would at least have to be the size of a 
walnut, and were then swallowed and brought up again. The voluntary 
bringing-up of solid objects is much more difficult, and very painful, 
and does not always succeed at the first attempt. Since the contents 
of the stomach are three or four pints in bulk, and very variable, the 
further question arises as to how many antiperistaltic motions are 
necessary to bring the object into the mouth. What then becomes of 
the matter brought up during the first motions ? And how could a 
fiat drawing, the size of a head, be disengaged from its case, unfolded, 
smoothed out, placed in position, folded up, and pressed into the same 
volume so as to fit into the case and be swallowed again — all this in the 
dark and without the help of the hands ? And, finally, what about 
the packing up of the plastic forms, the mask-like products ? Could 
these also be concealed in the stomach ? 

As soon as we follow this process in detail and try to translate it 
into practice, the answer is obvious. 

In any case, Eva, as a rule, took her dinner two hours before the 
sitting, and was sometimes observed during the five, or even seven, 
preceding hours, so that the swallowing of artificial products would 
have been noticed. 

Since food-remnants or gastric juice were never found, since such 
manipulations could not have been concealed for four years, and since 
at the sittings themselves, even with an open curtain, nothing was ever 
found which could be interpreted in this sense, there is no justification 
for such a theory. And, finally, in many cases the phenomena were 
observed to commence in the medium's lap or some other place, quite 
unconnected with the mouth or the digestive organs. 

During his experiments with Eva C, in December 1912, the Paris 
physician, Dr R., a specialist for digestive troubles, made Eva eat 
bilberry jam half an hour before the sittings. Yet the material emerging 
from the mouth during the subsequent sittings was white. If it had 
come out of the stomach it would have been red, since bilberries colour 
the whole contents of the stomach. The medium did not know the 
object of the experiment. 

Yet the fact remains that the mouth plays an important part during 
the generation and disappearance of the products. 

Dr Kafka is right in calling attention to the uncertainty of sense 
perceptions, and the occurrence of optical illusions. Here the author 
agrees with him entirely, and it was for the very reason that he has 
made the freest possible use of photography. As regards his experience 
of the 10th September — in which he thought he saw an arm-like appear- 
ance, while the photograph showed a head — the main point seems to 
have escaped attention. If the object seen had remained at rest, we 
should all, no doubt, have gained a distinct impression. But the object 
moved at a distance of 20 to 30 inches behind the curtain, from the 
dark region of the cabinet on the left several times, towards Eva's head 
with a great speed (her hands being visible). Also, it remained in the 
circle of light for barely a fraction of a second, and disappeared suddenly 
into the darkness. The optical impression was therefore too fugitive, 
too rapid to be discerned clearly. In this sitting the curtain remained 



SITTINGS IN OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER 1912 207 

open both before and after the phenomenon, since the same process of 
appearance and disappearance was repeated several times. The photo- 
graphic record confirms this, and shows a freely floating head. The 
situation is particularly clear in the stereoscopic transparency, which, 
contrary to Dr Kafka's opinion, shows the distances practically right. 

On the other hand, there is justification for Dr Kafka's remarks 
concerning the appearance of face and head-forms, so very contrary to 
our expectations. As a matter of fact, we have to deal in some of these 
phenomena with objects of an artistic character, such as drawings on 
a white base, sharply cut out and showing creases, as the author has 
already explained in connection with previous sittings. But the improb- 
ability of the appearance is not in itself a sufficient argument against 
the genuineness, or the metaphysical origin, of the products. The 
objections raised on this point are the more easily understood, since a 
head-form was only once photographed in Dr Kafka's presence. Surely 
a final judgment on this matter requires more numerous experiments 
than could be carried out in Munich. 



Sittings in October and November 1912 (Paris). 

The experimental room forf the sittings now to^ be described was 
the same as in June 1912. But the observations at Munich had led 
Mme. Bisson to construct an entirely new cabinet. The skeleton of this 
cabinet was a wooden framework covered with new black lining material. 
The size was determined by the position of the stove, and was the same 
as before, except that the roof was higher, being 9 feet. The broad 
wooden cross-beam, to which the curtain-rod was attached, allowed of 
the attachment of the stereoscopic camera used in Munich. 

As regards all the remaining details, the position of cameras, etc., 
nothing was changed from the arrangements at the sittings in June, 
so that no new description need be given. 

The author examined the curtains and walls carefully, but nowhere 
did he find pin-holes or any other defects in the lining material. 

The pendant was strengthened by a twenty-five candle-power lamp, 
and there was also a red electric lamp suspended in the cabinet in such 
a manner that it could be switched on and raised or lowered from the 
outside. 

Sittings of the 25th, 26th, and 28th October 1912. 
Negative. 

Sitting of the 30th October 1912. 

Present. — Mme. Bisson and the author. 

Control. — Dress of the medium as in the Mmiich sittings. 

Eva's disposition during the whole week was unfavourable, and 
was probably the cause of the negative sittings. On this evening 
Mme. Bisson asked the medium to hurry a little with her change of 



208 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION J 

dress, whereupon Eva refused to have a sitting, and locked herself into 
her room. The next day she wrote a letter of apology to the author. 



Sitting of the 2nd November 1912. 

Present, — Mme. Bisson and the author. 

Control and illumination as on 30th October 1912. 

Eva held the curtain open with her hands, and endeavoured to adapt 
herself psychically to the occurrence of phenomena. We heard long 
and short expirations. Without a change in the disposition of the 
hands, a patch of a dark grey colour, changing into white, became 
visible on her left shoulder. Then, while the curtain remained open, 
a white strip, like a chalk mark, appeared in the same place. Suddenly 
a disk -like structure emerged out of the dark, with a motion forward 
over Eva's left shoulder. I recognised a female face, obviously on a 
fiat surface. The hands had not left the curtain during the whole 
development of the picture, and the curtain had remained open. I 
took a flash-light photograph. 

After the image had shown itself several times, while the plates 
were being changed, the sitting was closed. Final examination negative. 

The photographs of this sitting (Figs. 116 and 117) are not among 
the best, owing to faulty focusing of the cameras. On the left side of 
Eva's head we see an oval female face in front view and natural size, 
but it is narrower than the medium's face, and turns round towards her, 
with a strong bending of the head towards the right. The right temple 
touches Eva's hair. Otherwise, it seems to float freely, and touches 
neither Eva's shoulder nor the back of the chair. The gaze is directed 
upwards in accordance with the position of the head. Both eyes 
look slightly distorted. Mouth, nose, and chin are regular and nicely 
drawn. The whole structure is probably fiat rather than plastic, 
although this cannot be decided from the photographs. From the 
point of view of criticism, it is interesting to note that the picture 
occurred with open curtains and hands always visible. 

Nine Sittings from the 4th to 17th November 1912, 

Negative. 

Unpleasant family news had an unfavourable influence upon Eva's 
disposition. She was ill for several days and vomited blood. According 
to the microscopic analysis made in the Antoine Hospital, the blood is 
drawn from the gullet, a symptom which is frequently combined with 
hysterical rumination. 

Sitting of the 18th November 1912. 

Present. — Mme. Bisson and the author. 

Control. — Although it had been often proved that the medium's 
hands took no part in the development and disappearance of the pheno- 




Fig. ii6. Author's flashlight i^hotograph of 2 Xonkmber, 

1.J12. 




< " 



O S 



D O 




SITTINGS IN OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER 1912 209 

mena and remained visible, yet we had noticed in most of the sittings, 
and especially during the total closing of the curtains, a temporary 
drawing back of the hands which, with new observers, always gave 
rise to the suspicion that Eva's hands participated in the production 
of the phenomena. For this reason Mme. Bisson accepted the author's 
proposal to change the control in such a manner that Eva's hands 
should not leave the curtain during the whole sitting, or, at least, until 
the complete development of the head forms. They should be constantly 
illuminated and visible to us. 

In order to increase the accuracy of the record, the author wrote 
his report, from the 18th November onward, during the sitting itself. 

The remaining conditions were as on 2nd November. When I 
extinguished the light, Mme. Bisson held Eva's hands, which grasped 
the curtain, and were placed outside the curtain on her knees. From 
this moment the five fingers of both hands were illuminated before our 
eyes. The author also touched these from time to time, to make sure 
that they were really Eva's hands. 

9.1 P.M. Commencement of sitting. Hypnotisation complete in 
thirty seconds. 

10.40 P.M. In spite of nearly two hours of waiting, no pheno- 
mena. New control seems to present a difficulty. Strong suggestion to 
encourage the medium. 

10.45 P.M. Whimpering and stertorous breathing. Eva says she 
feels the impending occurrence of phenomena. Her trance seems to 
deepen. Her hands are motionless in the same place. 

10.55 P.M. Curtain opens. On the medium's left thigh there 
appears a mass, nearly an inch wide and 6 inches long, so that, in spite 
of the long waiting, the proof of the occurrence, and a positive result 
under the more rigid conditions, is obtained. 

11.4 P.M. The material has altered its place, passing on to the left 
shoulder, and looks like a white cloth. Hands visible all the time on 
the knees, holding the curtains. 

11.9 P.M. A veil-like fabric on Eva's face. The gasping becomes 
harder, she says : " Oh, Juliette, c'est dur, aide-moi ! " 

11.22 P.M. Control unchanged. I observed a flat white disk, the 
size of a head, lying horizontally on the left shoulder like a sheet of 
paper. 

11.25 P.M. I distinctly recognise the female face photographed on 
2nd November, but reversed, the forehead being directed forward. The 
whole gives the impression of a chalk drawing on the white ground. 
The narrow oval face is very noticeable. Hands constantly visible in 
their place. 

11.28 P.M. On the shoulder there is now nothing but a white mass, 
resembling a folded handkerchief. 

The former form has disappeared. I took up a white electric torch. 

11.50 P.M. Hands still visible. Suddenly I illuminate her lap 
with the lamp. In the black folds of the dress there are several white 
fragments or white pieces resembling lint. These do not seem to 
withstand the light, and disappear. 

11.55 P.M. Mme. Bisson illuminates the medium's lap. Instead 
of the white mass, some apparently viscous, light grey drops and some 





210 *" PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

liquid material are seen. With a glass rod I took up some of these 
drops and placed them on a microscopic slide, for a subsequent micro- 
scopic examination. 

12.4 A.M. With my permission, Eva released the curtain, which, 
however, remained open, and sat beside the chair on the floor. Again 
a sudden illumination with a red electric torch. White patches and 
fragments lie on the seat of the chair beside the medium. She screams 
and clutches with her left hand at the chair, whereupon everything 
disappears, as if by magic. Medium's hands empty. No further 
phenomena. 

12.30 A.M. End of the sitting. Final examination negative. 

We may say with certainty that the picture on the left shoulder 
was produced without participation of the hands. That it remained 
there, and could not be put upright nor fixed, may be due to the exclusion 
of manual help. 

Sittings of the 20th and 22nd November 1912. 
Negative. 

Sitting of the 23rd November 1912. 

Present. — Mme. Bisson and the author. 

Control. — As in previous sittings. 

This day Eva, as a preparation for the sitting, remained in a state 
of hypnotisation from 3.30 to 6.30, under Mme. Bisson's supervision, 
in her study. 

Immediately after hypnotisation, and before the white light was 
switched off, both Eva's hands, holding the curtains, were laid on her 
knees in front of the curtain, and during the three hours' sitting they 
remained illuminated by the red light, and clearly visible. On the 
extinction of the white light, Mme. Bisson held Eva's hands. The 
record was kept during the sitting. 

8.45 P.M. Hypnotisation and beginning of the sitting. Hands visible. 

9 P.M. Groaning and whimpering. Mme. Bisson is requested to 
help in the production of phenomena by an effort of will : " Demande 
bien, ma petite Juliette." 

9.5 P.M. Groaning and gasping, accompanied by an effort of the 
ventral muscles. 

9.6 P.M. Eva crosses her hands at the curtain, holding the right 
curtain with her left hand and vice versa. •• 

9.10 P.M. Increase of the painful efforts. Eva feels the coming of 
mediumistic phenomena. She says, " Cela va venir." 

9.11 P.M. Stertorous breathing and long expirations. " Cela 
vient, je le sens." 

9.16 P.M. She brought her hands again into the original position, 
and they remained visible, holding the curtain. Without altering this 
position, Eva stretches her head out of the cabinet and asks Mme. Bisson 
to place her hands on her forehead and neck, which was done, but under 
the strict supervision of the author. 



SITTINGS IN OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER 1912 211 

9.25 P.M. Crossing of the hands in the light as at 9.6 p.m. 

9.31 P.M. Eva puts her head out of the cabinet and asks, " JuHette, 
tu vois ? " 

9.36 P.M. Restoration of the original position of the hands as at 
9.16. Eva talks a lot and is very restless. " Cela vient, je le sens. 
Oh, e'est dur ! " 

9.45 P.M. Renewed painful gasping and moaning. In consequence 
of the manipulations of the curtain, the curtain rings are separated so 
far on the curtain-rod that light falls into the cabinet from above. At 
Eva's request, Mme. Bisson mounts on a chair and closes the curtain. 
No change in the position of the hands. 

9.50 P.M. Eva again puts her head out of the cabinet, and 
Mme. Bisson pacifies her by laying her hand on it. 

9.59 P.M. More pains. " Cela vient." 

10.3 P.M. Mme. Bisson holds Eva's hands in hers in front of the 
curtain, so that they remain always visible. 

10.21 P.M. Stronger efforts and motions. 

10.22 P.M. Curtain opened. " Tu vois, Juliette," she says. Deep 
long-drawn respiration. 

10.28 P.M. In spite of several changes of position, made during the 
hour and a half of the sitting, the hands had not been withdrawn within 
the curtain for one moment, but were always visible in the red light, 
only now I had the impression of a vague vaporous form above her 
head, though this might have been an optical illusion. 

10.29 P.M. Hands still visible in the same place. 

10.30 P.M. Curtain opened. An illuminated patch about the size 
of half a crown, and apparently of the consistency of skin, becomes 
visible about midway between the medium's thighs, but only for an 
instant, for it is withdrawTi with a rapid motion towards her body, and 
disappears. The curtain is closed while the hands remain visible, 

10.32 P.M. The muscular efforts are accompanied by a chewing 
action, as if Eva had something in her mouth. She shows some feeling 
of animal satisfaction, interwoven with states of tension and painful 
sensations. 

10.45 P.M. The hands hold the curtains closed, thumbs touching, 
and all ten fingers being visible. She draws the thumbs about an inch 
apart, and, between them, a piece of material is seen, exactly the colour 
of Eva's skin. This lies in front of the curtain, and becomes larger, 
thicker, and longer under my gaze. It is prolonged backward,while 
in front it takes the form of a small clenched doll's hand of ivory. This 
miniature structure, of about the size of a small plum, ends in a ribbon 
about an inch wide, running back towards the body of the medium, 
and, while the body remains steady, it is suddenly withdrawn, and 
apparently reabsorbed. 

10.48 P.M. Deep groaning noises and slight cramp in the arms. 

10.50 P.M. A larger piece of veil-like material is seen on the breast 
and left upper arm, like torn, ragged, and transparent material. Length 
about 12 to 15 inches. 

10.59 P.M. Hands still visible at the curtain. Eva is quieter, 
having passed the climax. 

11.10 P.M. A white mass of material on her left shoulder. 



212 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

11.14 P.M. The curtain being opened again, the author bends his 
head forward behind the curtain, so that he can observe the white stuff 
on the shoulder. Again I see a fiat, white disk, larger than a head, of 
oval, irregular form, lying horizontally on the left shoulder. On the 
light background there is a male face resembling a charcoal drawing, 
with chin towards the back wall. It is remarkable that on the upper 
lip a moustache emerges plastically, as if at the position of the upper 
lip, on a larger drawing on cardboard, a real moustache had been stuck 
on. During the closing of the curtain a rustling is heard, as if soft 
paper were being rubbed. 

11.18 P.M. Hands unchanged. Curtain opens. The disk is still in 
the same place, and makes a motion upwards and forwards, the back 
portion raising itself. This motion was apparently aided by a simul- 
taneous motion of Eva's head. 

11.25 P.M. During the next opening I saw the picture rolled up 
like a paper-bag, with its point touching Eva's mouth, while the broad 
opening pointed upward. 

11.27 P.M. Everything has disappeared without a trace. Eva 
opens the curtains very wide and stretches forth her head. I looked 
at the back of the chair, and the sides of the cabinet, and illuminated 
everything with a white torch. From the beginning to the end of the 
sitting the hands had not left their place for an instant, and so could 
have had no connection with the genesis, motion, and disappearance 
of the phenomena. The sitting was continued, but without any further 
result, and was closed at 12.10 a.m. Final examination negative. 

Sittings of the 25th and 26th November 1912. 
Negative. 

Sitting of the 27th November 1912. 

Present. — Mme. Bisson and the author. 

Control. — As at the sitting on 23rd November. 

Several hours of hypnotisation during the afternoon as a preparation. 

9.1 P.M. Hypnotisation in thirty seconds. The hands to-day also 
remained visible in the light, in front of the curtain, until the pheno- 
menon was well developed. 

9.15 P.M. Great restlessness and groaning, as well as the usual 
respiratory symptoms. 

9.22 P.M. An irregular wisp appears on the medium's breast, 
reaching down to the belt. 

9.30 P.M. A long grey fragment hangs out of the mouth. No 
details can be given, as the exposure was too short. Mme. Bisson 
holds my porcelain dish under the fragment, and also catches in her 
hand some drops of a liquid material, which she also puts into the dish. 
The latter finally contained 1 c. cm. of liquid. 

9.35 P.M. Strong muscular efforts. Eva lays her feet in 
Mme. Bisson's lap. 

9.40 P.M. Painful whimpering amd moaning. 




Fig. 119. Side view (enlarged) of Fig. 118 
taken within the cabinet. 




Fig. 1 20. Author's flashlight photograph of 30 November, 1912. 
Fig. 121 (Inset). Side view of Fig. 120. 



SITTINGS IN OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER 1912 213 

9.45 P.M. Opening of the cameras, while keeping an eye on the 
position of the hands at the curtain. 

9,55 P.M. " C'est dur ! je vois une tete." 

10.15 P.M. Pause, without change in the position of the hands. 

10.20 P.M. The whimpering grows stronger, and more laborious. 
No change in the position of the hands. 

10.30 P.M. Exposure of a head image, first on Eva's breast and 
then on her shoulder. Possibly a small portrait, but it cannot be dis- 
tinctly recognised. Up to now the hands have not been withdrawn 
behind the curtain for an instant. 

10.42 P.M. Flash-light. As the curtain opened I seem to see a 
white disk with a fragment depending from it. The phenomenon dis- 
appears totally. 

10.50 P.M. End of the sitting. Final examination negative. 

The liquid caught in the porcelain dish looks viscous and colourless. 
It has no smell, and a grey film seems to lie over it. Microscopical pre- 
parations were made. 

Development of the negatives produced a surprise, inasmuch as 
they showed only a veil-like disk, without the drawing of a head. At 
the moment of the flash-light Eva had turned her head to the left, so 
that she covered the structure attached to her hair on the left. We 
therefore see the outer semicircular edge of a wisp falling down on her 
left shoulder, with a form resembling that of previous pictures (Fig. 118). 
The camera, in the roof of the cabinet, shows that a flat white disk, 
about the size of a head, lies on the medium's hair. 

Of much greater interest is the result of the photograph taken with 
the camera inside the cabinet (Fig. 119), giving pictures 3| by 5| inches. 
Here the flat object, which projects behind the medium's head towards 
the back, appears with four distinct parallel vertical creases, which are 
also shown in the stereoscopic photograph. There is a narrow horizontal 
strip, also interrupted by creases, on which we can recognise the words 
" Le " (small type) " Miro " (large type). That is evidently meant to be 
" Le Miroir." We can just recognise the top of an " I " following the 
" O," but the next " R " is covered. I cannot form any opinion on 
this curious result. 

Sitting of the 29th November 1912 

Present. — Mme. Bisson and the author. 

Conditions as on 27th November. 

Mme. Bisson only saw the proofs of the photograph of the 
27th November immediately before this sitting, and was as much 
puzzled by the result as was the author, Eva did not notice anything, 
but thought that the photographs had been failures, through an unfor- 
tunate turning of the head towards the left. She did not see the proofs 
before the sitting, nor were they discussed with her. Eva did, indeed, 
say to Mme. Bisson at midday on the 29th, during the preparatory 
hypnotisation, " Berthe wanted to show you something special." 
Mme. Bisson hypnotised her at 9.30 p.m. Hardly had she gone into 
hypnosis when she said the word " Miroir." She then continued. 



214 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

" Elle (Berthe) voulait vous ecrire autrefois, elle voulait vous envoyer 
sa pens6e ecrite. Vous etes pour elle son miroir. Elle se revolt ici. 
Vous avez une photographie d'une pens6e de Berthe. Elle a la joie de 
se creer un autre image." (" She (Berthe) wanted to write to you the 
other day. She wanted to send you her written thought. You are 
her mirror. She sees herself here. You have a photograph of the 
thought of Berthe. She has the joy of creating another image for herself.") 

On questioning her further, Eva said that the matter attached to 
her head had not been a picture, but had only been intended to materia- 
lise that word for us. 

To-day's sitting was negative. It ended at 11 p.m. 

Sitting of the 30th November 1912. 

Present. — Mme. Bisson and the author. 

Eva was hypnotised in the afternoon as a preparation for the 
evening sitting. 

Control. — As on 23rd November 1912. Eva's hands were brought 
in front of the curtain, in the white electric light, immediately after 
hypnotisation, and remained visible till after the appearance of the 
materialised picture. 

9.10 P.M. Moaning and bleating noises. She says, " Juliette, 
demande bien," which means that Mme. Bisson is to support the 
medium's efforts by an effort of will. 

9.20 to 9.25 P.M. Mme. Bisson sees, on the medium's breast and 
shoulder, initial materialisations in the form of fine misty structures. 

9.28 P.M. Eva is restless, puts in remarks, but takes care that her 
hands are always visible at the curtain. Her feet are stretched for- 
wards, and lie between those of Mme. Bisson, who sits facing her. 

9.30 P.M. She draws the curtain to and fro, possibly to allow light 
to fall upon some product. 

9.35 P.M. The well-known respiration becomes more active, there are 
plenty of sounds and indistinct words, giving the impression that Eva 
had something in her mouth which hindered speech. We hear whining, 
gasping, and pressing, and the hands grip the curtain convulsively. 

9.37 P.M. For the first time to-day the author sees a long strip of 
white material falling from the left shoulder down to the breast. The 
hands are constantly controlled. During repeated exposures, the 
material appears to become more compact, and to assume the shape of 
a white disk the size of a head. 

9.55 P.M. On the disk lying on her breast, I notice features as if 
drawn with charcoal, but cannot say whether the face is male or female. 

10 P.M. Moaning and whining. 

10.6 P.M. We hear a rustling as if paper were being rubbed together, 
while Eva's hands are steadily visible. 

10.11 P.M. Eva asked us to postpone the photograph, as the face 
was not yet sufficiently clearly developed. With my permission, she 
then drew back her hands. I assumed that she would use them to fix 
up the picture, but had no objection to that, as I had already seen the 
picture partly developed. 



m^^m. 



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Fig. 122. Enlargement of Fig. 120. 



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Fig. 123. Author's second photograph of 30 Xovcmber, 1912. 




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Fig. 127 Mme. Bisson's flashlight photograph of 5 January, 1913, with enlargement. 

(Retouched.) 



SITTINGS IN OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER 1912 215 

10.46 P.M. After several exposures, I see a structure on her head, 
and ignite the flash-light. I change the plates at once. Then I stand 
behind Mme. Bisson, and see on Eva's head, in a half-inclined position, 
a female face on a sort of disk. It resembles a coloured drawing on 
Japanese paper. 

10.55 P.M. The image is now seen on her left arm, and seems to 
stand at right angles to the curtain at the level of Eva's head. 

10.59 P.M. Second photograph. 

11.5 to 8 P.M. She shows the product in several exposures to 
Mme. Bisson, who sits opposite, holding both flaps of the curtain at 
the bottom with her left hand, and obviously manipulating the picture 
with her right, moving it up and down, or trying to detach it from its 
position (Fig. 123). 

11.11 P.M. Mme. Bisson claims to have seen the image on the back wall. 

11.13 P.M. The author illuminated the cabinet unexpectedly with 
a white electric torch. Everything had disappeared without a trace. 
The sitting was closed. Final examination of the medium and cabinet 
negative. 

The successful photographs (Figs. 120, 121, and 122) of this sitting 
show us, on Eva's head, a life-sized female head, in the form of a drawing 
on a disk cut out. The eyes are very far apart, and the forehead and 
the left ear are invisible, being entirely covered by hair. The nose is 
broad and curved, and the open mouth shows the teeth. The hair 
surrounds the face like a wreath, and over the back of the head and 
part of the neck a white cloth is draped. 

From the artistic point of view the portrait may be considered as 
extremely finely drawn and interesting. The vivid expression, especi- 
ally that of the eyes, has something animal and bloodthirsty about it, 
full of spirit. The half -open mouth and the lips, which appear to be 
reddened, indicate sensuality. 

The outer circle of cloth gives a remarkable yielding and rough 
impression, as if the mass were some soft material product, and it shows 
no resemblance to the sharp margins of cardboard. In general, the 
whole veil-drapery of the hair, especially as seen in the stereoscopic 
photograph, looks extraordinarily delicate and realistic, like a real veil. 
We cannot escape the impression that in this case a sketch, commenced 
by drawing, had been finished by modelling. 

In the second picture (Figs. 123 and 124) of 30th November the 
same image hangs by a black wiry cord, with some branches attached, 
which joins the left curtain with Eva's hair. A small piece of whitish 
substance is attached to it. A veil-like fabric, of extraordinarily loose 
composition, is also suspended by it, and covers the whole face, so that 
only the left side can be seen. Here, as well as in the side view of the 
image (Fig, 124), we distinctly see a slanting parallel fold, which cannot 
be seen in the first picture. The portions of the face lying under the 
veil in the shadow, especially nose and mouth, are distorted and no 
longer recognisable as such. The decomposition process seems to have 
already begun, and is perhaps the cause of the fold. Since Eva had 
been allowed to withdraw her hands before the first photograph, there 
is nothing against the assumption of a manual arrangement of this 
remarkable picture. An inspection of the curtain did not, as one might 



216 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

expect, show a pin-hole at the point where the cord had been fastened, 
but a whitish spot, resembling the spots which sometimes remain as 
a residue of the substance on the dress. The fastening, therefore, might 
have been accomplished by sticking on the chain. 

The whole circumstances here described are very peculiar, especially 
since there were no aids towards the production of such a complicated 
collection of things, either on Eva's body or in the cabinet. If, therefore, 
we admit, in principle, the materialisation process, we may make up 
our minds to assume that the means of fastening the artistic products 
are generated and disappear in the same way as the products them- 
selves. 



Observations in December 1912 and January 
and February 1913 (Paris). 

After the author's departure, Dr R., the specialist for digestive troubles 
already referred to, in connection with Dr Bourbon, continued the 
observations under the same conditions as the author. 

In the first positive sitting of 9th December, phenomena of moving 
materiel began similar to those of the last Munich sitting of 11th Sep- 
tember 1912. During the final control of the cabinet, Dr R. found on 
the floor a piece of soft, grey, half-liquid material, which was preserved 
for chemical and microscopic examination. 

As shown by Mme. Bisson's communications, the further sittings 
up to 20th December 1912 were negative, but for some minor phenomena. 

It was only on 23rd December that phenomena began again to 
appear, and in the first instance in presence of Mme. Bisson only, who 
on that evening operated with the medium in a naked condition. About 
this she writes as follows in a letter, dated 24th December 1912 : — 

" At first the material emerged from the vagina in the shape of a 
ribbon split at its lower end. Then it jumped on to Eva's shoulder. 
Finally the female image ' Berthe ' appeared under Eva's chin, as if 
stuck to her breast, with its face turned sideways. The medium's 
mouth remained inactive in this case. Then the head appeared on 
Eva's shoulder, following the motions she made with her chin. I 
insisted that Eva's hands should never leave the curtain, in order to 
get her accustomed to that requirement, although I was operating with 
her alone. The phenomenon could be followed without interruption. 
During the process of the formation of the face I heard, without seeing 
anything, the curious noise resembling the rustling of paper rubbed 
together, the curtain being open. Eva's hands either grasped the 
curtain or lay in mine. During the noise I held her hands. The sitting 
lasted one hour." 

Sitting of the 30th December 1912. 

Present. — Mme. Bisson. 

A further photographic record (Figs. 125 and 126) of a perfectly flat 
face-fragment, closely resembling in design and composition the head 




Fig. 12S. 



Mme. Bisson's flashlight photograph of 
5 January, 1913. (Ke touched.) 




^ O 




Si ■< 

t/) ^ 

O vO 



u< 



OBSERVATIONS IN DECEMBER 1912 TO FEBRUARY 1913 217 

photographed at Munich on 10th September 1912, was made on 30th 
December. The image, resembhng a crumpled and then smoothed-out 
sheet of paper, is fastened to the medium's hair at her left temple, and 
casts a shadow on her face, which is turned to the right. Under the 
mouth a piece seems to be torn out at right angles. The dark-shaded 
portion corresponding to the hair is prolonged downward dispropor- 
tionately, and shows a number of deep creases and rectangular super- 
positions of the same thin, paper-like substance, giving the impression 
as if thej^ were laid or stuck on. The design of the face leaves no doubt 
that this portrait is intended to represent the woman photographed 
at Munich on 10th September. The outer margins of the profile are 
torn, especially at the nose, and in other ways the outside of this object 
is too defective and crumpled to permit a detailed comparison. As 
regards the experimental conditions, the medium's hands were not 
once withdrawn during the sitting, being at the curtain under Mme. 
Bisson's eyes, so that the medium could not use them. 

The appearance of the same image, or type, of face or artistic 
production during sittings, separated by considerable intervals, has been 
observed on several occasions. ^ 

Sitting or the 5th January 1913. 

Present. — Mme. Bisson. 

The sitting of 5th January 1913, in which Mme. Bisson operated 
with the naked medium alone, shows a great step in advance, inasmuch 
as she succeeded for the first time in photographing the teleplasm en 
the medium's naked body. The illumination was the same as in all 
the sittings. During this sitting also the hands did not leave the 
curtain, and were therefore controlled from beginning to end in such 
a way that the medium could not use them. 

The first photograph of 5th January (Fig. 127) shows the hypnotised 
medium with open eyes holding the curtains open. 

According to Mme. Bisson's report, the photographed material came 
from the region of the navel (as if emerging from it), and moved like 
a living reptile in serpentine windings or jumps, upwards over the skin. 
Suddenly a thread-like connection was formed between the medium's 
mouth and the material. At that moment the flash-light was ignited. 
The material resembles a collection of skinny substance of intestinal 
origin, and is obviously composed of numerous loops, shreds, and strips. 
In spite of the disturbance by the flash-light, this packet of teleplastic 
matter did not disappear, but fastened itself with two loops formed 
out of the substance to the medium's teats, joining them tc the navel 
in the shape of a three-cornered net, as shown in the second flash-light 
photograph (Figs. 128 and 129) of this sitting. The very remarkable 
product shows on the left a broad coherent strip, consisting of an 
irregular tangle of meshes of different sizes. The middle piece is 
stretched and transparent, so that the net -like character of the structure, 
and the medium's skin under it, are distinctly seen. The whole is 
traversed by irregular branches of varying thickness, which in turn are 
joined by a fine threadwork, in parallel lines, or in numerous small 
polygons, like a delicate stretched animal membrane. The lengths 



218 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

joining on to the teats and the navel consist of quite irregular thick 
cords of the same ground substance. Some black knotted threads, one 
of which cuts across the net, and is even woven into the meshes, do not 
differ in any way in appearance from textile fabrics (black yarn ?), and 
offer a striking contrast to the irregular structure closely resembling a 
natural product (mesentery), which forms the dominant characteristic 
of the phenomenon and shows itself in the projections, cords, and 
attachments. 

Immediately after the second photograph, Mme. Bisson stood back 
in order to close the cameras. At that moment Eva arose, frightened 
by this disturbance, and still covered by the material, emerged from 
the cabinet, and sank fainting into Mme. Bisson's arms. At the same 
moment the mass disappeared. The medium recovered slowly under 
the care of her protectress. 

Sitting of the 6th January 1913. 

Present. — Mme. Bisson. 

The first photograph (Fig. 130) of this day's sitting shows the hypno- 
tised medium, whose hands remained under observation from beginning 
to end, with open eyes, head bent forward, and crossed hands, which 
hold the curtains. On her left wrist there lies a compact piece of white 
substance, with two finger-shaped attachments pointing forwards, 
while behind the left curtain a shred hangs down. The piece of material 
is joined to the mouth by an irregular cord. 

Second photograph (Figs. 131, 132, and 133). Eva's left shoulder, 
from the left forearm to the ear, is covered by an obviously fiat, deformed, 
and distorted face portrait, prepared on a soft base. The left curtain 
passes over the nose slantingly downwards. The right eye and the 
upper bridge of the nose are clearly drawn. There are several deep 
clefts at right angles to each other, as if the picture had been made 
by combining and superimposing several pieces. The substance itself 
has the same irregular character as before, and does not resemble the 
structure of textile fabrics or paper. 

Of greater interest than this image are perhaps the two fragments 
of fingers lying on the hair over Eva's right temple, and consisting of 
three joints in a flexed position. Only about half of the third phalanx 
is visible. The position of the nail is clearly marked, especially in the 
front finger, and the whole drawing is finely executed. Not much can 
be said about its plastic development, since there are no stereoscopic 
photographs. The foundation substance does not show the histological 
structure of epidermis, but that of our teleplasm. The soft flowing 
lines of the drawing, and the covering of part of the lower line by the 
hair, are notable. A shred-like piece of material also hangs down on 
the right from Eva's hair on to her shoulder. 

Sitting of the 9th January 1913. 

Present. — Mme. Bisson. 
Medium half naked, dressed only in the tights. The hands were 




Fig. 132. First enlargement from Fig. 131. 




CQ 





Fig. 135. Mme. Bisson's flashlight photograph of 9 January, 1913, 
with enlargement from fig. i34. 




Fig. 136. Mme. Bisson's flashlight photograph of 19 January, 1913. 



OBSERVATIONS IN DECEMBER 1912 TO FEBRUARY 1913 219 

visible at the curtain during the whole sitting, and took no part in the 
production of the phenomena. 

This day the material formed itself at the teats and the navel, 
fastened itself with a cord on the left teat by an automatic motion, and 
joined itself below with tlie navel, which forms the centre of the end 
piece, and is clearly seen on the photograph (Figs. 134 and 135). As 
in the picture of the 5th January, the teleplastic substance is composed 
of cords, shreds, and strips in a free arrangement. In the sitting of 
6th March Eva demonstrated the same phenomenon to the author 
on her bare skin in such a manner that he could, by his own eyes, confirm 
the accuracy of the photograph of 9th January. After the ignition of 
the magnesium powder on 9th January, Mme. Bisson endeavoured to 
withdraw carefully and slowly from the cabinet, in order to close the 
cameras. At that moment the teleplasm crept like a living thing with 
a rapid independent motion down the black tights on to the carpet, 
and, detached from the body of the medium, it crept outside the cabinet 
towards Mme. Bisson. When it had advanced about a yard in front 
of the curtain, Eva suddenly rose and fell forward on to the floor, 
covering the material with her body, and lay there in a faint. When 
she was lifted up nothing was to be seen, the substance having been 
apparently reabsorbed by her body. 

Sitting of the 19th January 1913. 

Present. — Mme. Bisson. 

Conditions. — Medium nude, except for a black cloth over abdomen 
and feet. Hands visible at the curtain during the whole sitting. The 
photograph taken at this day's sitting (Fig. 136) marks an advance, 
inasmuch as the investigator succeeded in photographing, besides some 
teleplastic material, a male portrait on Eva's naked body. 

We see the medium with head bent forward, holding the right 
curtain wide open, while the left curtain is tightly stretched, and cuts 
off the left side of the image. 

Over the medium's navel there lies a packet of material of the same 
description as in the last sittings. The broad life-sized portrait, joined 
to it by a short ribbon, covers nearly the whole body, from the navel 
to the neck, and from one hip to the other, and is obviously a pictorial 
product on a thin or paper-like base, which seems to be cut out. It 
has several square folds, which clearly indicate a sheet regularly folded 
at right angles, and subsequently opened out. 

We have here an artistically successful male face with a lively 
expression. The whole plan, the drawing and shading of the head, 
and especially the way in which the moustache is placed over the 
straight fold, are remarkable. The opening of the waistcoat, the tie, 
and the shape of the collar correspond to the modern fashion, and 
impart an up-to-date character to the picture. 

The left forehead, the cheek, and the left eye are covered by a black 
sheet. A detailed observation shows that the middle of one eye is 
seen near the left temple displaced towards the outside, as if this dis- 
placement were due to a fault in the act of artistic creation. 



220 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

The contemplation of this mediumistic product will no doubt give 
rise to the greatest misgivings on account of its paper-like, sharply cut, 
fiat appearance, and the regular square creasing in the drawing itself. 
An unfolded picture smuggled in could hardly look different, unless we 
consider that the combination of fine detail, as in the drawing of eyes 
and forehead with coarse angular sketchiness (moustache) speaks for the 
originality of the design, and therefore against a stereotyped picture 
executed according to a definite artistic principle. Yet the creases and 
furrows of the picture fit together so accurately that the author was 
led to cut out the outlines of the head in paper after an enlargement and 
to fold it up according to the creases shown in the photograph, with 
the result that the various creases fitted accurately. 

Sitting of the 13th February 1913. 

Present. — Mme. Bisson. 

Conditions. — Medium nude. The feet, resting on Mme. Bisson's 
knees, are covered with a black cloth reaching up towards the hips. 
Eva's hands do not leave the curtain during the whole sitting. 

This day's flash-light photograph (Fig. 137), which only succeeded 
in the stereoscopic camera, shows again a face portrait on the bare skin. 

Eva sits on the chair in the cabinet with her head bent forward, 
and opens the curtain with her right hand, while with the left she tries 
to draw it as a protection in front of the head, which covers the whole 
abdomen up to the breast. The flat male face shown in low relief gives a 
front view with the gaze directed towards the right. The nose is dis- 
torted and a failure. The right eye is distinctly recognisable, while the 
left eye is covered by Eva's left hand. The ground substance on which 
the form is developed seems to be soft, for it adapts itself to the contour 
of the body. The lower part of the face stands out in accordance with 
the convexity of the abdomen, while the region of the eye has sunk 
into Eva's waist. The forehead again bends upwards, corresponding 
to the position of the thorax while sitting. 

Perhaps the most striking point about the face is the fully developed 
pointed beard, which emerges plastically from the basis, and seems to 
consist of a curly-haired or felt-like mass, unless we have to do with 
real hair, a point which cannot be decided from the photographs {see 
the stereoscopic photograph). The face is framed, very curiously, on 
the right side by a strip of white material, having the thickness of a 
finger, while the left side is hidden from observation by the medium's 
hand. On the second photograph of the 13th February Eva's right 
hand covers the forehead. 

We may certainly conclude from the above details that the object 
is not a portrait drawn on paper, but is a fiat mask in low relief, with 
a soft and fairly cohesive basis, but with quite a realistic development 
of the hairy portions. The shortened view of the half-concealed 
structure in the enlargement does not allow us to form an opinion as 
to the faciei expression. But on the second (smaller) photograph the 
left eye is remarkably lively, whereas only a straight line of the thickness 
of a finger is there to indicate the moustache. Here also a rough, 




Fig. 137. 



Two FLASHLIGHT PHOTOGRAPHS TAKEN BY .MMB. 

BissoN, 13 February, 1913. 




Fig. 138. Mme. Bisson's flashlight photograph of 
23 February, 1913. First photograph of an entire 

PHANTOM, together WITH NUDE MEDIUM (ReTOUCHED). 




Fig. 139. Simultaneous view of Fig. 138 from above 
(roof stereoscope). 




Fig. 140. Mme. Bisson's flashlight photograph, simultaneous with Fig. 138. Whole 

PHANTOM, with NUDE MEDIUM. (RETOUCHED.) 



OBSERVATIONS IN DECEMBER 1912 TO FEBRUARY 1913 221 

wooden, sketchy scheme is combined with a lifelike expression as on 
the negative of 19th January. 

Sitting of the 23rd February 1913. 

Present. — Mme. Bisson. 

Since 4 p.m. Eva complained of pains and swelling of the breasts. 
After dinner she suffered from palpitation. A sitting had not been 
planned for this Sunday evening. Still, Mme. Bisson was led by the 
medium's curious behaviour to hypnotise her in her day dress in the 
cabinet after supper. Hardly had Eva entered the trance condition 
when she asked to be undressed, threw off all her clothes, and discarded 
even the black cloth with which she had been covered during previous 
sittings. 

A deep trance followed, but of a character different from that of 
previous sittings. Curiously enough, no material appeared on her 
body to-day. Suddenly, after about thirty minutes, on opening the 
curtain, a life-sized phantom with male features appeared behind Eva's 
chair in the corner of the cabinet, fully developed already at the first 
exposure. Eva rose, stepped aside, and opened the curtain with her 
right hand, in order not to cover the phantom with her body. Flash- 
light photograph. In spite of the shock the figure, which moved freely 
without feet, ending at the lower hem of its cloak, remained where it 
was, and allowed itself to be illuminated by Eva's electric torch six 
times in succession. In addition, Mme. Bisson switched on the red 
lamp in the background of the cabinet. A second photograph failed, 
because the phantom had withdrawn sideways out of the field of the 
camera. It disappeared without a trace in the direction of the back wall. 

In the successful photographs (Figs. 138, 139 and 140) the nude 
medium stands at the left curtain, holding it with her left hand, while 
with her right hand she has opened the other curtain far enough to 
allow the phantom to be plainly seen. Her features express a strong, 
painful effort of will. On the photographs intended for publication, 
Eva's naked body was, for obvious reasons, retouched in such a way 
that the sex characteristics (breasts, etc.) are not seen. 

The phantom, clad in a long white mantle, stands at the right-hand 
back wall of the cabinet, with crossed arms, and upward gaze, and, by 
its height and attitude, gives an impression of solemnity. The face is 
complete, without fragments, shreds, etc., as seen so often on former 
heads. The face is long and oval, the forehead high and narrow, the 
nose long, broad, and well developed, there is a long pointed beard 
and a well-arranged moustache, and the left ear is clearly outlined. 
A broad coat collar covers the throat, which is wrapped up. In the 
triangular opening two buttons are visible, as of a waistcoat. The left 
hand disappears in the white mantle, resembling a bathing wrap. We 
only see a triangular black patch, while, on the right hand, fingers are 
indicated. The regular features express earnestness and dignity, as in 
a conventional Christ-head. 

While the face of the phantom appears entirely pictorial and flat, 
like a drawing (this is corroborated by the foreshortened stereoscopic 



222 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

picture taken from the roof of the cabinet), the cloak, on comparing 
the various photographs, seems to show a certain reality in its material 
composition. Yet the figure as a whole gives a unified and harmonious 
impression. A detailed study of the stereoscopic transparency, with 
its strongly foreshortened image taken from the roof of the cabinet, 
leaves no doubt that two parallel folds or rents traverse the whole 
mantle vertically, as if it had three divisions, and opened to both 
sides. 

On the negative of Fig. 138, and in the stereoscopic photographs 
(from the front and from above), a sickle-shaped, cloud-like structure 
is seen above the medium's right hand. This is not due to a fault in 
the plate, but had a real existence, though it cannot be explained. 
Perhaps we have here a physical accompaniment of the materialisation 
process. 

By the success of the sitting of 23rd February, the four years of 
Mme. Bisson's self-sacrificing activity were deservedly rewarded. For 
her, and for every impartial observer in her position, the actuality of 
the production of phantoms by mediumistic power must be considered 
as proved, especially as more rigorous experimental conditions could 
hardly be imagined. Indeed, in the whole literature of occultism, in 
so far as it is to be taken seriously, there is no proof of observations of 
teleplastic projections simultaneously visible with a nude medium. 
Photographs of phantom and medium on the same plate are a great 
rarity. But a naked medium, deprived of every chance of concealing 
materials for the artificial production of the phenomena, photographed 
on the same plate with the phantom, is unprecedented. 



Sittings during February and March 1913. 

Sitting of the 26th February 1913. 

Present. — Mme. Bisson and the author. 

Conditions as in November 1912, but the medium, at the request of 
the two physicians, Dr Bourbon and Dr R., who attended several 
sittings, undresses in her room and enters the seance room dressed only 
in a blue dressing-goAvn. Here she receives the seance costume from 
the physicians (in this sitting from me), puts it on behind the screen, 
and is then sewn into it in the presence of the sitters, after an examina- 
tion of her body surface. She had therefore neither time, nor oppor- 
tunity, to hide any object on her person. Then the sitting commences 
as usual after the hypnotisation of the medium. 

The illumination is still brighter, as now six red lamps are used. 
No result. 

Sitting of the 27th February 1913. 

Present. — Mme. Bisson and the author. 

Conditions as on the 26th. Nose, mouth, arm-pits, hair, and body 
surface examined by the author as before. 



SITTINGS DURING FEBRUARY AND MARCH 1913 223 

Mme. Bisson hypnotises the medium more deeply, with urgent 
suggestions to show a phantom. 

The hands were laid on the medium's knees in front of the curtain 
before the white light was switched off, and were held by Mme. Bisson, 
and remained in that position, or in a crosswise position, or visibly 
held by Mme. Bisson 's hands, until the end of the sitting, without ever 
withdrawing themselves from control by a withdrawal into the cabinet. 

The curtain was also open during the whole sitting, in the sense that 
there was always a narrow gap through which one could see Eva's 
head. Her feet were stretched out in front of the curtain, and were 
held by those of Mme. Bisson. The record was kept by the author 
during the sitting, 

9.5 P.M. Beginning of the sitting. Immediate deep stertorous 
breathing and expirations. Hands continually visible at the curtain. 

9.10 P.M. A white shred-like, rather broad, flat mass emerges from 
her mouth and falls over her left shoulder and left breast. 

9.15 P.M. Continual whimpering. A flat mask-like structure is 
seen on the left shoulder. 

9.20 P.M. Suggestion by Mme. Bisson. " Detache-toi bien.'* 
Hands still visible. 

9.21 P.M. During the next exposure I distinctly saw the male face 
already photographed by Mme. Bisson on the naked body of the medium. 
It gives the impression of a flat, somewhat diagrammatic, bearded mask. 
The face is framed in a kind of ring-shaped wall, and the face photo- 
graphed on the 13th February is distinctly recognised. 

9.22 P.M. Eva takes Mme. Bisson's hands, as if she wanted to 
strengthen herself by the touch. The structure is now visible in Eva's 
lap, and disappears from my eyes while the curtain is open. 

9.23 P.M. No trace left. 

9.25 P.M. Neither on her breast, nor in her lap, nor on her head, 
is there a trace of the structure. She sometimes puts her head into 
the curtain gap, when she wishes to touch it with her finger, to push her 
hair from her face. 

9.26 P.M. She now holds the curtain with crossed hands, moans, 
and appears to make great muscular efforts in order that the form may 
be seen again. 

9.30 P.M. She puts out her head, without altering the position of 
the hands, to ask if we see anything, to which we say " No." 

9.36 P.M. She asks Mme. Bisson to hold her hands, in order to gain 
power. 

9.40 P.M. Strong whimpering, with a distinct sensation that the 
face will be seen again. 

9.44 P.M. At her request, Mme. Bisson enters the cabinet, opening 
the left curtain widely so that she can be seen. She holds Eva's head 
in her hands, encourages her, and emerges again. 

9.46 P.M. The structure is again seen on the left breast, but appears 
less developed and less solid than in the first impression. It looks like 
a transparent white mask. We abstain from photographing it, hoping 
that the form will become more distinct. 

9.48 P.M. Eva lays her head on the hands which still visibly hold the 
curtain. The gap becomes very narrow, since the hands touch each other. 



224 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

9.50 P.M. Nothing more is seen, and everything seems to have 
disappeared. Hands still at the curtain. 

9.56 P.M. New efforts by Eva. 

10.1 P.M. Mme. Bisson again takes Eva's hands. 

10.10 to 10.15 P.M. The medium rests, and no further sounds are 
heard. 

10.16 P.M. Eva has the impression that she cannot produce any- 
thing more. Close of the sitting. Final examination of the medium 
and the cabinet negative. 

Result of the Sitting. — Appearance, disappearance, and change of 
position of a mask-like male face, without the co-operation of the 
medium's hands. 

Sitting of the 4th March 1913. 

Present. — Mme. Bisson, Dr R,, Dr Bourbon, and the author. 
The medium, completely undressed and clad only in a blue dressing- 
gown, enters the room and puts on the carefully examined seance 
costume in our presence. While Dr R. examines the arm-pits and the 
mouth, with the help of a silver spoon, Dr Bourbon undoes the medium's 
hair and puts it up again, having found nothing remarkable, and also 
examines her ears. Blowing through each nostril shows that the nose 
is free. 

9.14 P.M. After examination of the cabinet, Mme. Bisson hypnotises 
the medium in the white electric light. The medium's hands are on 
her knees, and are held by Mme. Bisson. 

9.15 P.M. Extinction of the white light. Illumination by six red 
lamps. 

9.17 P.M. Hands still held by Mme. Bisson. 

9.18 P.M. Hands released, but rest on medium's knees, visible to us. 
9.35 P.M. Some efforts to produce phenomena. 

9.43 P.M. Mme. Bisson again takes Eva's hands and makes energetic 
suggestions towards production. 

9.50 P.M. Eva crosses her hands. 

9.57 P.M. The trance seems to have deepened, and we hear plaintive 
whispering and long forced expirations. Apparently the process of 
materialisation is commencing, although it encounters great resistance. 

10.1 P.M. An object appears on the medium's breast. 

10.5 P.M. Dr R. holds Eva's left hand, Dr Bourbon the right. The 
curtain is half opened. 

10.10 P.M. On the left shoulder there is a shred, clearly produced 
from the mouth. 

10.15 P.M. Emanation process from the mouth continues. Since 
the head is exposed to the light, we clearly see a ribbon-shaped piece 
hanging from the mouth. As Dr R. finds by touch, the dress has become 
moist and sticky in some places on the chest. 

10.21 P.M. Mme. Bisson opens the seams and takes off Eva's tunic, 
so that she sat dressed only in the tights. 

10.22 P.M. The medium's hands are held by the physicians as 
before. Eva is embarrassed, crosses her arms, and tries to conceal her 
breast from the two men. 



SITTINGS DURING FEBRUARY AND MARCH 1913 225 

10.25 P.M. Some dark grey patches, the size of a florin, appear on 
the skin, especially on the left breast, but the appearances are too fugitive 
to form a definite opinion. 

10.40 P.M. The emotion of the medium at being unclothed in the 
presence of men is obviously very strong, and produces inhibitions 
which do not allow of the development of the phenomena, which on 
this day are weak in any case. 

11.10 P.M. Closing of the sitting. Final control negative. While, 
on the one hand, the method of this day presents a step in advance, 
inasmuch as the medium was made to produce her remarkable power 
in a nude condition, we see, on the other hand, that the process of 
emanation is exceedingly easily hindered, and brought to a stop, by 
psychological conditions, since the medium feels herself hemmed in by 
the too rigorous procedure of the experimenters, or by the premature 
exposure to the light of the phenomenon in a nascent state, followed by 
critical analysis from every side. This possibly explains the fact that 
the intensity of the phenomena diminishes, as the methods of observation 
become more exact. 

Sitting of the 6th March 1913. 

Present. — Mme. Bisson and the author. 

Eva enters the seance room at 8.30 p.m. dressed only in the drsssing- 
gown. In my presence, she takes it off and puts on the carefully 
examined seance costume. She opens her mouth, sounds vowels, and 
blows through her nostrils. Arm-pits, hair, and ears are examined 

When it is proved that she has nothing concealed anywhere by 
which she could produce the phenomena, she takes her seat in the 
cabinet, which has also been previously examined, and is hypnotised 
by Mme. Bisson in my presence. During the whole sitting the hands 
are visible, either lying on her knees or holding the curtain. 

8.45 P.M. Mme. Bisson holds Eva's hands. The white light is 
switched off. 

8.49 P.M. Mme. Bisson releases the hands which now hold the 
curtain. The curtain itself remains more or less open during the whole 
sitting. 

8.50 P.M. The medium is obviously resisting. Her whole expression 
shows the absence of the deeper trance. 

8.55 P.M. " Demande bien, ma petite Juliette." Groans and 
exertions of the ventral muscles. 

9 P.M. More violent efforts. Condition of " mediumistic labour," 
deep long-drawn expirations. 

9.3 P.M. " Cela me prend, Juliette." 

9.5 P.M. Hands still visible, lying on her knees, and holding the 
curtain. As soon as she opens her knees, I see between them, in a fold 
of the dress, a strip about 3 or 4 inches long and about the thickness of 
a pencil, of a pink colour, the first sign of a positive sitting. 

9.8 P.M. At various parts of her dress, and in her lap, small pink 
lines and points become visible, obviously material emanating from her 
body through the dress, and now forming a sort of precipitate. This 

p 



226 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

substance seems to be partly liquid, and partly solid, its density com- 
parable with that of a very delicate web. On touching the luminous 
portions, they feel moist and sticky. 
9.11 P.M. Hands still visible. 

9.15 P.M. Greater exertions. 

9.16 P.M. " Je le sens, Juliette." 

9.20 P.M. Hands crossed at the curtain. 

9.22 P.M. Plaintive whimpering. Mme. Bisson holds her hands to 
encourage her, and then releases them again. 

9.30 P.M. Pause for rest. Hands visible. 

9.35 P.M. " Cela vient, je le sens." 

9.38 P.M. We now see the distinctly formed bearded face, in front 
of her head, like a mask. As her head moves, the lower part of this 
picture swings to and fro, and gives the impression that it consists of 
a soft, skinny substance. 

9.40 P.M. During the next exposure a ribbon nearly an inch wide, 
with ragged, irregular edges, becomes visible between her hands. On 
opening her knees and then separating her hands, this band stretches 
to a length of 8 to 10 inches. Suddenly, while her hands are at rest, 
this band is jerked upwards towards her head, as if drawn from above, 
the middle of the band going first, and then disappearing in the region 
of her mouth. One cannot say whether this material was reabsorbed 
by Eva's organism, or simply served to build up the materialised face. 
In any case, the appearance was remarkable. 

9.41 P.M. I took a photograph at the next exposure. Unfortunately, 
Eva just then closed the curtain, so that the first series was not successfiil. 

9.47 P.M. After the plates were changed, the second exposure was 
made, Mme. Bisson, sitting in front of the curtain, pressing the 
electric button. 

9.50 to 9.55 P.M. The image was seen a few more times and dis- 
appeared, although the hands, from the beginning of the sitting until 
now, had never been withdrawn from our gaze. Eva, being anxious 
to show the automatic mobility of the substance, herself proposes to 
take off the tunic. 

10 P.M. Mme. Bisson opens the seams, takes off the tunic, and Eva 
is only dressed in the tights, her upper body being nude. 

10.3 P.M. She opens and closes the curtains alternately, to allow 
of the development of the material on her body in the dark, and then 
to expose the products for a short time to the red light. 

10.5 P.M. During several exposures I saw distinctly a self-moving, 
net-like, skinny mass, about the size of a plate, and in the form of a 
shred with a long strip attached, depending from her left breast. 
Before my eyes, this mass detached itself and disappeared in the region 
of the navel. The optical impression corresponds approximately to 
the pictures taken by Mme. Bisson on 9th Januaiy 1913. My subse- 
quent observation, therefore, confirmed the correctness of the photo- 
graph. Since such a photograph is already in our possession, no new 
photograph was attempted to-day. 

: "f 10.10 P.M. Eva demonstrates a few times more, with portions of 
substance in the form of knots the size of walnuts, as well as j^ackets 
and veils, on her neck and upper body. These structures did not 




Fig. 141. Author's first flashlight photograph of 6 March, 1913. 
(From above, inside cabinet.) 




Fig. 142. Author's second photograph. 6 March, 1913. 



SITTINGS DURING FEBRUARY AND MARCH 1913 227 

withstand the light, they always disappeared, even after a few seconds 
of exposure to light. 

10.20 P.M. Close of the sitting. Eva's skin is covered by a viscous 
moisture, on her left breast and in the places where we saw the material. 
The tunic itself is quite permeated with moisture near the left breast, 
and shows several moist patches on the inside and outside. 

Final control of medium and cabinet negative. 

While the first flash-light photograph, taken by the cameras in 
front of the cabinet, was a failure, the negative of the stereoscope 
mounted inside the cabinet above the medium's head shows a curious 
result, which is the same in both pictures (Fig. 141). 

We look down from above on to the seat of the chair, which stands 
outside the curtain, and both the medium's hands holding the curtain 
are visible. With a magnifying glass we can even recognise the sleeve 
of the left forearm. To the right of it, in a corner of the cabinet, i.e., at 
an approximate distance of 43 inches from Eva's body, we see a white 
structure consisting of a compact, irregularly shaped head-piece, the 
size of an adult female fist, to which is attached a curved tail-piece, 
about half an inch thick and about 12 inches long. The shape resembles 
that of a spermatozoon or neuroblast. The material of which it is 
composed must be strongly self-luminous, and shows a feeble aura, 
otherwise the camera would not have made so clear an image of it. 
Since the dark cabinet contains no self-luminous objects, and since 
white textile products or white paper possess no luminosity in the 
dark, it can only be a case of a materialisation product which corresponds 
to observations in other sittings. Repeatedly we saw white luminous 
strips, with the head-like attachment, apparently of a textile nature, 
and more or less long, which altered in shape and size, and were detached 
from the medium's body. We have, therefore, here probably a primitive 
materialisation in an embryonic state, the appearance of which corre- 
sponds to organic structures known in nature. It appears to float 
freely. This phenomenon also belongs to those which can hardly be 
imitated artificially. 

As regards technique, flatness, and artistic design, the author's 
second flash-light photograph (Figs. 142, 143, and 144) of 6th March 
closely resembles the photograph taken by Mme. Bisson on 19th January. 
As in previous observations, the male portrait drawn on paper or thin 
fabric, and cut out sharply, is fastened to the right side of Eva's head, 
covering it almost completely. The folds of the foundation material 
cut across the image in sharp parallel lines, and even, to some extent, 
interfere with the artistic impression, as at the point of the beard. 
The whole nose is covered by shreds of material folded several times. 
The manner in which the hair of the beard is treated (by short strokes), 
as well as the collar and eyeglasses, allows of no doubt that we have 
here a pictorial sketch. The treatment of the eyebrows and eyeglasses 
resembles the picture of M. Bisson obtained on 1st June 1912. 
tit As the portrait of 19th January, so also the present one shows the 
shirt front and tie. The expression of the eyes is peculiarly life-like, 
and the image appears to be fastened to Eva's hair by threads or a pin. 
The conception, composition, artistic execution, and technical treatment 
of the material, as well as the impressionistic rendering of the theme, 



228 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

indicate the same artistic individual as that indicated by the authorship 
of numerous previous portraits. Born of the same artistic intuition, 
they prove themselves to be different works of the same hand. 



Observations in March, April and May 1913 (Paris). 

Sitting of the 24th March 1913. 

Present. — Mme. Bisson. 

In a letter, dated 26th March 1913, Mme. Bisson writes : — " On Monday 
evening I hypnotised Eva in the cabinet in the red light as usual. 
She wore her day dress, since, owing to her unfavourable psychic dis- 
position, I did not expect any phenomena this day. 

" I took her hands and suggested to her ' Go to sleep quickly.' She 
at once fell back into her chair, and immediately afterwards arose, 
already in the trance condition, and said, ' He is there, he is there ! 
Undress me quickly ! ' She almost tore her dress off, and I helped her 
until she was quite undressed. Then she seized my hands and pressed 
them violently, with the words, ' Look, look ! He forms himself ! 
He is there ! ' I thought I saw something large on the back wall of the 
cabinet, to my left. Eva remained standing, leaning against me, then 
pressed my hands, stood back a pace and screamed with pain, while her 
whole body was shaken with convulsions. She cried out, ' Touch the 
cord on my back.' I stretched out my hand and felt under her waist 
a moist cord-like structure which joined Eva with the phantom. The 
cord detached itself while Eva leant against me. I saw the phantom 
illuminated. It consisted of a long, broad strip standing vertically on 
the floor, at the top of which I recognised a face. Eva stretched back 
her arm, and the broad strip wound itself once round it, while the 
head-piece pointed vertically upward. 

" After the structure had detached itself again, Eva called out, 
' See how he forms himself ! Press my hand hard to give me power.' 
I now saw with my owa. eyes how the phantom broadened out, how the 
shoulders took shape, and I used this moment to take a flash-light 
photograph, fearing that the vision might disappear. It is probably 
the same form as that of 23rd February. Unfortunately, I had no 
time to prepare all the cameras, and only the two large ones were in 
action. 

" With the ignition of the magnesium powder, everything disappeared. 
The whole occurrence happened in a few minutes, and already at 9.30 
I could put the girl to bed. The subsequent examination of the cabinet 
was also negative to-day. On the following day Eva had no recollection 
of what had happened, and did not know that the phantom had returned. 

" For me the proof is complete. The recollection of the sitting of 
Monday can never be effaced." 

At the first sight one recognises the apparition of 23rd February. 
There is the same head, the same broad, long white cloak, and the arms 
crossed over the breast, but the head is less distinct this time. The 
whole appearance resembles an old portrait, painted on wood, and 




Fig. 143. Side view, enlarged, of Fig. 142. 




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OBSERVATIONS IN MARCH, APRIL AND MAY 1913 229 

rather badly preserved. While the apparition of the 23rd February 
showed eyes turned upwards and towards the right, so that the whites 
were distinctly visible, the look of the phantom of 24th March is straight- 
forward, without the sideways position of the eyes. The lids are 
smaller and less open. The left ear of the 23rd February gives the 
impression of a completely modelled shape. Over the outer temple, 
on the right, there is a vertical, straight, and deep cleft, with irregular 
margins. A narrow piece ending it hangs outside on the head, as if 
torn off, or perhaps the process of composition is not quite complete. 
On the left part of the forehead there is a long, black patch. The out- 
lines of the rather vague, full beard are on the whole the same as before. 
The buttons closing the cloak at the top are also the same in both 
pictures ; while the coat collar in the picture of 23rd February ends in 
a rectangular cut crossing the larynx on the right, that same ending is 
now on the left side. The opposite side, on both negatives, is lower 
and more open. The upper edge of the cloak on 24th March, which 
looks as if drawn by hand, shows a torn hem, in contrast with the soft 
regular lines shown in the negative of 23rd February. 

Four fingers of the left hand, in two of which the nails are indicated 
by white patches, are clearly seen in the photograph of 24th March. 
The outer lines are very rough and sketchy, like a painter's sketch of a 
hand lor a picture, and seem to lose themselves in the background. 
The cloak itself occupies a much wider space in this new photograph 
than it did on 23rd February, with the left sleeve passing at right angles 
across the cloak, thus enlarging the upper outline of the figure, in 
contrast with the lower part. In consequence of the folds which broaden 
out downwards, the left marginal line of to-day's phantom is straight, 
without allowing the sleeve to project, as on 23rd February. The 
phantom appears to end at the lower hem of the mantle. 

The photograph of 24th March (Figs. 145 and 146), as a whole, gives 
the impression of a flat drawing, on a foundation having a pattern like 
linen. While on both pictures the heads appear flat (which is confirmed 
by the cleft in the second picture), the mantle in the first picture shows 
soft, deep creases, and, looking stereoscopically from above, the observer 
does not get the impression of a flat drawing. Unfortunately, there are 
no plates available for 24th March other than the picture here repro- 
duced. The arrangement of the folds is different from that of 
23rd February, being less developed, flatter, and more like an outline 
drawn with a pencil. Yet the outer margin, when magnified, shows 
fibres and threads which suggest a fibrous material. 

Of the medium herself, the only thing visible this time is the head, 
half cut off by the curtain. From a comparison of the two pictures, 
it is therefore quite clear that on 23rd February and on 24th March we 
have two different representations of the same object, of the same per- 
sonification. The differences between the pictures taken of the same 
type, but on different evenings, may be compared with the different 
poses of a person at a photographer's, and are mainly due to different 
positions of the body, owing to displacement and changes in the external 
lines and the folds of the dress thus produced. If we had to deal with 
an object smuggled in for the sake of a ghost apparition, i.e., with a 
finished product on a rigid foundation, there would have to be at least 



230 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

two representations of the same head, with different positions of the 
eyes, for in this case the medium would certainly have had to exhibit 
a different face on 24th March from that shown on 23rd February. 
Although this assumption appears very improbable on comparing the 
two pictures of the same type, the smuggling in of a whole phantom is 
already excluded by the experimental conditions of the two sittings. 

From the point of view of teleplastic projection, the differences of 
the two representations of the same phantom are very interesting. 
The same optical conception of a portrait endeavours to realise itself 
on two evenings by means of the psycho-physical energy at the medium's 
disposal, with the result that the identity of the type twice represented 
is proved, while the numerous changes and differences of the two pictures 
indicate mobility and variability of the artistic will behind the scenes 
in the details and shades of the conception, as well as the incompleteness 
in the material process of creation. 

As in nearly all the teleplastic formations observed by us, the elemen- 
tary formative principle never produces rigid and unchangeable products, 
but the photographed emanations always indicate a mobile, soft material 
basis, which is highly changeable and rapidly perishable. 

Sitting of the 1st April 1913. 

On 1st April 1913, in the author's absence, but under the usual 
experimental conditions (strict initial examination, searching of the 
mouth and hair, etc., and hands visible at the curtain during the whole 
sitting), in the presence of Dr Bourbon and M. Bourdet (an author), 
a long cord-like structure was photographed (Figs. 147 and 148), con- 
sistmg of two ribbons, one of which hung down in the form of a long 
torn shred as far as the waist, while the other was looped round an 
anatomically well-developed finger, consisting of three joints, so that 
the flexed finger appeared to be held by a loop passing round the second 
joint. The nail position was distinctly developed, and under the first 
joint a crease is visible, produced by the bending of the first and second 
joints. Although we have here quite a plastically developed finger in 
the natural size of an adult female hand, one cannot make out, in the 
enlargement of the picture, whether the surface of the fragment has 
the characteristic appearance of human skin. The material of the strip 
by which the finger is suspended is fixed at its upper end to the breast 
of the tunic, and resembles in form and composition the other teleplastic 
products. 

Sitting of the 2nd May 1913. 

Before the sitting of 2nd May (also in the author's absence), Dr 
Bourbon arranged experimental conditions of increased rigidity, by 
proposing that Eva's entire head, after she had been sewn into the 
seance costume, should be surrounded by a veil, fastened to the neck 
all round by sewing. In addition, Eva's hands at this sitting also 
remained constantly at the curtain. Under the conditions named, a 
male head picture developed in Eva's lap, its lower part separated by 
a neck-piece, while the upper pointed freely upwards, and was not 




Fig. 14O. Enlargement of Fig. 145. 




Fig. 147. Mme. Bisson's flashlight photo- 
graph or I April, 1913. 





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Fig. 148. Enlargement of Fig 14.7. 



SITTINGS IN MAY AND JUNE 1913 231 

leaning against the dress. This product (Fig. 149) shows all the charac- 
teristics already seen in previous creations. 

Upon the forehead cf the portrait (which looks as if cut out of paper, 
with a sharp margin and rents at the top), we clearly see a square piece 
of the same structure as the rest of the picture, stuck on. Numerous 
creases, some of which are parallel, traverse the face — one of the most 
noticeable of these being a crease passing in a straight line from the 
mouth to the ear, this rent being in turn traversed at right angles by 
another passing over the upper jaw. Numerous smaller bunches of 
creases suggest a folded paper subsequently smoothed out. The right 
eye, which is somewhat deformed, appears pressed slantingly inwards, 
in contrast to the correctly placed left eye. The lower jaw is remarkably 
short. The broad correctly shaped nose, the compressed mouth, the 
lively expression of the eyes, and the look towards the left, give the 
impression of a great liveliness in the whole artistic treatment, which is 
shown by the eyeglasses and the beard, as obviously that of a charcoal 
or pencil drawing. The whole design, the technical treatment and 
composition, admit of no doubt that this creation is from the hand of 
the same unknown author as the rest of the male pictures of the last 
series. 



Sittings in May and June 1913 (Paris). 

Sittings of the 6th and 7th May 1913. 

Negative. 

Sitting of the 9th May 1913. 

Present. — Mme. Bisson, Dr Bourbon, and the author. 

Control. — This day, for the first time, a black woollen knitted gar- 
ment was used for the medium's whole figure, only leaving the hands 
and head free. This garment, prepared at the suggestion of the Paris 
physicians, consisted of one piece, and had only one opening at the back, 
from the waist to the neck. The medium entered the seance room 
dressed only in the blue dressing-go^vn, which had been previously 
searched, and, in our presence, she changed into the woollen garment 
after it had been carefully examined, whereupon Mme. Bisson closed it 
along the back with close stitches. She also sewed up the sleeves so 
that they fitted tightly round the wrists. 

During these operations Dr Bourbon examined her mouth with a 
spoon, asked Eva to blow her nose into a handkerchief, undid her hair, 
and examined hair and ears. Finally, the medium's head was enveloped 
in a black veil of strong tulle, which was sewn all round to the neck of 
the dress as on 2nd May. A final examination of the seam round the 
neck showed that the stitches were too close to allow a finger to pass. 
Only Eva's hands remained free, and she was allowed to retain the ring 
on her right hand. The examination of the cabinet gave a negative 
result. 

Illumination as in March 1913. 



232 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

Eva took her place in the cabinet. Mme. Bisson took her hands 
and hypnotised her by fixation as usual. 

9.23 P.M. Hypnotisation. The white light is switched off by the 
author, while the medium's hands lie still in those of Mme. Bisson. 

9.25 P.M. Mme. Bisson releases Eva's hands. These grasp the 
curtain and remain visible at the curtains during the whole sitting, 
though now and then the arms are crossed. They are sometimes 
touched by the author. 

9.40 P.M. In spite of long-continued expirations, and obvious efforts 
by the medium, no results. Her hands are warm. 

10.10 P.M. Suddenly Eva commences to whimper, makes muscular 
efforts, and gives cries of pain. 

10.12 P.M. The hands become cool. Efforts continue. Mediumistic 
labour. 

10.14 P.M. A white wisp, about half a yard long, penetrates the 
veil, before our eyes, and places itself upon her left upper arm. Those 
present claim to have seen a finger in it. The author only sees the wisp, 
and opens the cameras. 

10.17 P.M. The wisp lies over the left arm and the medium's thighs. 
The author ignites the flash-light and changes the plates at once. 

10.25 P.M. The wisp is again visible. 

10.28 P.M. Eva feels the disappearance of the phenomenon. Her 
hands have not left the curtain for a moment. 

10.30 P.M. Close of sitting. The medium steps in front of the 
cabinet, gets the seams undone, and takes off the whole seance costume 
in our presence, opens her mouth, and is again searched, with no result. 
She retires to rest while in the somnambulic condition. 

Nothing is found in the dress. Neither veil nor tricot are moistened. 
The cabinet is also examined without result. 

The photograph (Figs. 150 and 151) taken shows the medium sitting 
on the chair clothed in the tricot and veil, with a white, broad strip 
hanging from the left wrist down to the right thigh. As shown by the 
enlargement of this strip, its structure, like that of the material pre- 
viously described, shows meshes, thick parallel threads being held 
together by short cross filaments, so that the whole gives a net-like 
impression and a polygonal pattern. The material is soft and fibrous, 
like the finest cashmere wool. 

Sittings of the 13th and 14th May 1913. 
Negative. 

Sitting of the 16th May 1913. 

Present. — Mme. Bisson, Dr Bourbon, M. de Vesme, and the author. 

Conditions as on 9th May. Woollen garment, head sewn into the 
veil, which was sewn on to the tunic round the neck. Hair, mouth, and 
nose examined by the author. 

Three cameras were in the cabinet and four outside, also a stereo- 
scopic apparatus furnished by Dr Bourbon and a camera of Mme. Bisson's 




Fig. 149. :\Ime. Bisson's flashlight photograph of 2 .May, 1913. 




Fig. 150. Author's flashlight photograph of 9 May, 1913. 



SITTINGS IN MAY AND JUNE 1913 233 

(4f by 7 inches) — nine cameras altogether. The record was taken during 
the sitting, as usual. 

9.5 P.M. Commencement of sitting. Hypnotisation and extinction 
of white light as on 9th May. The hands remain visible at the curtain 
during the whole sitting, and never disappear behind it. They move 
during the convulsive efforts accompanying the productions. The 
curtain is grasped with the vola manus, the smaller fingers being upper- 
most. Then the fists grasping the curtain are turned so that the thumbs 
are uppermost. During mediumistic labour there are strong stretchings 
of the arms, the curtain being gripped, and used as a support for the 
hands. 

9.9 P.M. Strong moaning, expiration, and pressing. The forearms 
are crossed, the right hand holding the left curtain and the left the 
right. Then the normal position is resumed. 

9.11 P.M. " Demande bien, ma Juliette ! " which means that 
Mme. Bisson is to support the medium by effort of will and words. 
Since at present, after the farewell of the controlling " Berthe," no other 
" personification " has taken her place, the suggestions of the sitters 
only had reference to the medium, in order to induce her to make 
greater efforts. 

9.15 P.M. Stertorous gaspmg. 

9.17 P.M. Complaints of pain. " On me fait mal, Juliette." 

9.25 P.M. A white substance becomes visible hanging out of her 
mouth like a large tongue, and appears to penetrate the meshes of the 
veil. The author opens the cameras. 

9.32 P.M. After those present had seen not only a veil-like substance, 
but at its end a finger, the author ignites the flash-light during the next 
exposure, and immediately changes the plates. 

9.33 to 9.38 P.M. Dr Bourbon and M. de Vesme observe the white 
material on the breast, and a fragment of a finger, which in size and 
shape might belong to an adult female. Dr Bourbon and Mme. Bisson 
ascertain that this finger is quite plastically developed, can move its 
joints, and that it bends and stretches. Then the strip lengthens, 
changing into a sort of cord, and jumps on to the right arm, finally 
remaining in the lap. Here the author saw the finger lying between 
the medium's knees quite closely. The bed of the nail is distinctly 
visible. While I changed the plates, this jointed fragment of a finger 
was laid in the right hand of Dr Bourbon, and there performed a rotating 
motion about its axis, so that there can be no doubt as to its plastic 
development. The sensation caused by the contact was that of a solid, 
cool, moist object. Lying in the medium's lap, the stretched finger 
rose freely with its tip upwards, and fell back. Then the whole thing 
was withdrawn and disappeared as if reabsorbed by the medium. 

9.40 P.M. Still the characteristic efforts of the medium continued, 
so that further phenomena might be expected. 

9.44 P.M. She takes Mme. Bisson's hands. Continued psycho- 
physical efforts. 

9.46 P.M. In spite of convulsive movements in the arms, no further 
phenomenon occurs. With the words " Cela me quitte, le fantdme 
viendra dcmain," the sitting closes. 

9.47 P.M. Eva rises and emerges from the curtain. In the white 



234 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

electric light a careful final examination is made. The veil shows no 
holes, and the seam connecting it with the dress is nowhere defective. 
The single stitches are so close together that a finger cannot penetrate. 
Inside the net there is one large tortoiseshell hair-pin, which had fallen 
out of the hair. The front lower portion of the veil is thoroughly 
moistened. The seam along the back is also intact. This is now undone. 
Eva handed the whole tricot to Dr Bourbon, put on the blue dressing- 
gown, and went to bed while in the somnambulic state. Final examina- 
tion of the seance costume and the cabinet negative. 

Dr Bourbon (physician) put his impressions of the sitting of 16th May 
into the following words, addressed to the author : — 

" Dear Colleague, 

" In accordance with your wishes, I am quite prepared to 
communicate to you briefly my impressions of the sitting which we 
attended, together with Mme. Bisson and M. de Vesme, on 16th May. 

" The medium's head was completely enclosed in a black tulle veil, 
firmly sewn to the neck-piece of the tricot, as has been the practice 
lately. 

" Very soon the medium commenced to breathe stertorously. In 
this sitting the hands remained always visible on her knees, unless they 
were holding the curtain. During the whole sitting the curtains were 
not completely closed for an instant. All the phenomena observed by 
us were, therefore, always under our eyes, and at a distance of not 
more than half a yard. 

" At 9.20 P.M. Eva bends forward towards us, and we see the 
substance emerging from her mouth while within the veil. 

" Very soon afterwards I perceive that something is hanging out of 
her mouth and moving up and down over her breast. It was a finger 
suspended by a cord of the well-known substance. The finger touches 
me, and in answer to an observer I say that it feels dry. Again the 
medium takes my hands and places them under the structure. I then 
felt, and saw distinctly and clearly, a finger which was moist and cool, 
and which fell into the hollow of my hand, where it turned to and fro 
for some moments. Its weight appeared to be the weight of a full-sized 
finger. The phenomenon then disappeared. Eva then let me feel the 
veil which, near the mouth, was soaked with mucus. Soon afterwards, 
without much change in the position of the curtains, the phenomenon 
was repeated while the hands remained always in the full illumination. 
I could now clearly recognise the finger, which was suspended by a grey 
substance consisting of two or three portions, and which moved up and 
down across the medium's breast. This finger executed distinct bend- 
ings two or three times, and then disappeared from view, as if it had 
ceased to be illuminated. 

" This manner of disappearance is often observed. 

" Eva then rested with her hands in her lap, which held the curtain 
open in the same way as before. Suddenly I see something white 
between her hands, which are about 4 inches apart. I draw the atten- 
tion of the sitters to this, and we ascertain that it is again a small finger 
parallel to the medium's fingers. This finger then stretches out slowly, 
and we find that it lies on a mass of the same substance joined by a 




Fig. 151. ENLARr.EMENT OF Fig. 150. 




Fig. 152. Author's flashlight photograph of 16 May, 1913. 



SITTINGS IN MAY AND JUNE 1913 235 

cord to the medium's body. Some moments afterwards the whole 
phenomenon disappeared in the gap of the curtain, whereupon, in spite 
of our wishes, nothing more was shown. 

" In the course of the sitting a flash-hght photograph was taken of 
one of the most important phenomena which we have yet observed — 
that is to say, the penetration of the substance emerging from the 
medium's mouth through the veil. With an expression of happiness 
at being able to place my testimony at your disposal, 
" I remain, dear Colleague, 
" Yours sincerely, 

" Dr Henri Bourbon." 

In a letter of 19th May, addressed to the author, M. de Vesme gives 
his impressions of this sitting as follows : — 

"... Although I did not myself examine the medium, thinking 
that an examination by two physicians would suffice, I can say this, 
that I saw that hair, nose, and mouth of the medium were examined, 
that Dr Bourbon's examination of the mouth took a long time, and that 
the seams were also carefully examined. 

" During the sitting I was interested to see whether the attention 
of the experimenters would be constantly concentrated on the control 
of Eva's hands, so that we could say, with a clear conscience, that the 
hands never disappeared from the eyes of the observers. My place 
was to the right, and a little further from the curtains than the other 
chairs. It is true that under these conditions I several times saw the 
left hand disappear from view, but as soon as I altered my position 
and approached the curtam, I always found that the observers sitting 
in front of me, and therefore better placed, could see the hands all the 
time. 

" As regards the phenomena, I first saw a white mass in the form 
of a long tongue hanging out of the mouth of the medium outside the 
veil. After an interval of some minutes, while the curtain hid the 
medium's body from me, I again saw the tongue-like white structure, 
to which a thread was now attached, which hung down to Eva's knees. 
This thread, which gave an impression of a navicular cord, held a finger 
suspended. When I saw it, it was in a flexed position, but I could not, 
like the other observers, myself ascertam any motion m it. But I can 
bear witness that this finger raised itself upwards from the medium's 
dress. My position rendered observation difficult. Thus I could not 
see the nail-bed on the finger. Also, I did not touch it, as did Mme. 
Bisson and Dr Bourbon. On the other hand, I see no possibility that 
this whole phenomenon could have been brought about in a frau- 
dulent manner. 

" Yours sincerely, 

"De Vesme." 

A close examination of the veil after the sitting gave the following 
result : — A tulle veil is attached to the neck of the tricot by a double or 
treble row of close stitching, in the form of a thick ruche, about an inch 
across and having a length of 11 inches. An attempt to penetrate the 
fastening at any point with a pencil, without injuring the seam, was 



236 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

unsuccessful. The mesh of the veil itself is one-twelfth of an inch wide. 
On putting on the tricot, the veil has only to be sewn on to the back of 
the neck in order to isolate Eva's head completely. In reality, Eva's 
body is under these conditions as if it were enclosed in a cage, which 
only leaves the hands free. 

The photograph (Figs. 152, 153, and 154) of 16th May completely 
corroborates the observations as stated. Eva's mouth is wide open. 
A part of the veil is slightly drawn into the mouth. We see distinctly 
that, over the whole under lip, a broad, striped, and fibrous mass, 
recalling a leafy vegetable structure or tangled felt, hangs out of the 
medium's mouth, emerging, apparently, between the tip of the tongue 
and the lip. At the end of this tangle of fibres there hangs a plastically 
developed finger of natural size, cut off at the middle of the first joint. 
The second joint is grasped by the fibrous cord, and is only connected 
with the rest of the mass by this cord. 

These details are corroborated by the side view from the right, and 
by the negative taken from above on the left, inside the cabinet, especi- 
ally as regards the distinct plastic development of the finger. The 
excellent photograph obtained with Mme. Bisson's camera shows, in its 
enlargement, the nail-bed as observed by the author in the further course 
of the sitting. A second photograph (Fig. 155) shows that the veil after 
the sitting was quite intact. A piece of white paper was placed inside 
the veil in order to let the pattern appear more clearly. 

The photographic documents from the sitting of 16th May, in con- 
junction with the agreement of the observations made by the sitters, 
and the fact that Eva was completely enclosed in the tricot and veil, 
as in a cage, while her hands throughout the sitting were observed by 
four people, and never escaped visible control, bring us a proof of the 
penetration of the teleplastic substance through a closely meshed tulle 
veil, which was found intact both before and after the sitting. From 
this we may conclude that the material has a loose, half soft, variable 
structure, which only forms, as shown in the negatives, after it has 
emerged from the mouth and veil. It is also probable that the finger 
fragment only developed to its natural size after penetrating the tulle, 
finally assuming the sharply marked and anatomically correct form of 
an adult finger, with nail-bed, as observed by Dr Bourbon, Mme. Bisson, 
and myself. The subjective and objective determinations were made 
on 16th May 1913, under the most careful conditions, so that it wiil 
not be easy to raise well-founded objections against the completeness 
and accuracy of the demonstration. 

Sitting of the 17th May 1913. 

Present. — Mme. Bisson and the author. 

Conditions. — To facilitate the production of a whole phantom, Eva 
this time put on the former seance costume (tights and tunic). It was 
sewn up only at the sleeves and neck. The back remained open by 
leaving the back seam unsewn, as this phenomenon is usually joined 
to the medium on her back. No veil was put over the head. 

On the afternoon of the 17th May the male personification " Dors- 




Fig. 153. Side view of Fig. 152. 




Fig. 155. 



Photograph showing the veil intact after the phenomenon shown in 
Figs. 150 and 151. 



SITTINGS IN MAY AND JUNE 1913 237 

mica " had announced, by automatic writing through the medium, its 
appearance for 8.30 p.m. Before the sitting Eva's pulse was accelerated. 
Other conditions and illumination as in previous sittings. 

8.15 P.M. Hypnosis. Hands always visible. Distinct signs of 
trance. 

8.17 P.M. Medium asks leave to remove the tights, and is only clad 
in the tunic, open behind. 

8.20 P.M. Sounds of painful exertion and groans. Exclamations 
like " Oh, ma Juliette ! Ah ! " 

8.21 P.M. Strips of white material on the left arm. 

8.24 P.M. Great excitement and restlessness. Hands always at the 
curtain, but move to and fro with the curtain, sometimes crossed, and 
subsequently restored to the normal position. 

8.28 P.M. Eva rises and steps into the left corner of the cabinet, her 
head bent forward, but keeping hold of the curtains. A white mass 
about the size of a head emerges from her mouth and is visible on the 
inner side of the curtain. Since to-day we wanted to see a phantom, 
we agreed not to take any notice of other phenomena, so as not to inter- 
fere with the process of development. Eva sat down and rested. 

8.31 P.M. She says " Cela travaille." 

8.35 P.M. Hands always visible. Pause continues. 

8.40 P.M. A renewed whimpering and loud deep sounds. 

8.45 P.M. The medium rises, steps back to the right, and cries out, 
" Oh ! mon Dieu, Juliette, il me tire." This may be taken to mjean that 
the point of attachment for the expected phantom was on Eva's back, 
as observed previously by Mme. Bisson. The medium therefore feels 
drawn backwards, and yields to the sensation, 

8.47 P.M. The medium sits down and rests, 

8.50 P.M. Renewed long expirations. Eva expresses a wish that 
we should not take any notice of the phenomenon now occurring, so as 
not to interrupt the process of development. I therefore turned my 
head sideways towards Mme. Bisson, but still kept my eye on the 
happenings behind the left curtain, facing me as I sat in front of the 
opened curtains. Then I saw, while both Eva's hands held the curtains 
open, over her left forearm the distinct appearance of a male face, on 
which the contrast between the black hair and the white ground was 
distinctly marked. 

9.1 P.M. Whimpering and pressing. Eva rises, holds one curtain 
with both hands, and — 

9.5 P.M. Passes into the right corner of the cabinet, sits down, and 
asks Mme. Bisson to hold her hands. 

9.10 P.M. Louder cries of pain, mediumistic labour, accelerated 
respiration, hands cool. 

9.15 P.M. We rise and look behind the curtain. Mme. Bisson 
maintains that she recognises in the dark corner the head of the phantom, 
photographed by her behind the medium's head. The author can only 
vouch for seeing a broad white band, with its upper end higher than 
Eva's head, on the back wall in the corner of the cabinet. We take our 
seats again in order to induce the phantom to advance more into the 
middle of the cabinet 

9.18 P.M. Eva sits down. 



238 PHENOMENA OF IvIATERIALISATION 

9.20 P.M. Further great efforts. We close the curtam above her 
hands, so that they are no longer visible. 

9.30 P.M. The medium suddenly feels her power vanishing, or the 
connection can no longer be made. In short, the sitting had to be 
closed without our being able to perceive the structure generated in the 
darkness. Final examination negative. Eva was very much exhausted, 
went to bed in the somnambulic state, slept restlessly, rose at one o'clock 
to cool her head with cold water, then went to sleep properly. ; 



Negative. 



Sitting of the 18th May 1913. 

Sitting of the 19th May 1913. 

Present. — Mme. Bisson and the author. 

Initial examination, seance costume, and programme as on 17th May 
1913. 

Eva, dressed only in the blue dressing-gown, enters the seance 
room, and takes from the author's hands the tunic and tights, which 
she puts on, but she is only sewn up at the wrists and neck. The dress 
covers her like a wide full shirt slit down the back. 

After her hair, mouth, ears, and hands had been examined, as in 
previous sittings, while she sat on the chair in the cabinet (which had 
also been carefully searched) she is hypnotised by Mme. Bisson. 
Illumination as on 17th May. 

8.21 P.M. Extinction of the white light. Eva's hands are well in 
front of the curtain, and remain uninterruptedly visible during the whole 
sitting, even when she stands up. 

8.25 P.M. Long-drawn expirations and mediumistic efforts. 

8.35 P.M. IMme. Bisson holds her hands, while the moans and mus- 
cular efforts increase. 

8.37 P.M. Mme. Bisson releases her hands, which, however, remain 
visible. Whimpering and cries of pain, trembling voice, and great 
excitement. Hands and feet are cold. She takes off the tights and 
sits on the chair, only clad in the tunic. 

8.40 P.M. The whimpering and groaning become more vehement, 
and continue as in the case of a person undergoing a lengthy and painful 
operation. 

8.41 P.M. Gasping and accelerated respiration, with open mouth. 

8.50 P.M. The pains seem to diminish and Eva appears to rest. 

8.51 P.M. Renewal of strong mediumistic pains. " Cela me prend 
au cou." 

8.55 P.M. On the right, beside the medium's head, the author sees 
a white mass. The curtain is intentionally kept closed above the 
medium's visible hands, so that the materialisation process can develop 
completely and is not interrupted by premature illumination. 

8.59 P.M. Mme. Bisson continues to encourage the medium. With 
urgent suggestions that a whole phantom may show itself, she takes 
Eva's hands and supports her effort of will. 




Fig. 156. Author's flashlighi photograph of 19 May, 1913. , 




Fig. 157. Simultaneous photograph by 
Mme. Bisson, 19 May, 1913. 



SITTINGS IN MAY AND JUNE 1913 239 

9 P.M. Eva rises, still holding the curtain so that her hands remain 
visible, but so that the materialisation process can take place in the dark. 

9.3 P.M. Convulsions shake the medium's body. Whining with 
pain she throws herself into the chair. While her hands are being held, 
a broad white mass becomes visible on her left forearm, and is drawn 
upwards. 

9.15 P.M. Stertorous and accelerated breathing. Long-drawn mus- 
cular efforts. She cries out, " Oh ! ma Juliette, il me fait mal, il me tire." 

9.20 P.M. Eva again rises, quickly steps towards the right, and 
remains standing in the corner of the cabinet. 

9.25 P.M. The medium takes Mme. Bisson's hands and follows the 
motions of her arms, and moves them up and down several times at the 
back wall of the cabinet, as if one were to pull a bell-rope. 

9.30 P.M. She releases Mme. Bisson's hands, grasps the right 
curtain, and says, " Juliette, appelle-le, je le vois." 

9.35 P.M. She starts opening the right curtain while standing. 
Mme. Bisson recognises the male personification " Dorsmica," already 
twice photographed. 

9.38 P.M. As Eva opened the curtam wide I saw behind her, as if 
protected by her body, what appeared to be a white male figure taller 
than the medium. In order not to miss the opportunity, I immediately 
ignited the flash-light, although the apparition stood too far sideways 
beyond the field of view of the lenses to be photographed by all the 
cameras. 

Immediately after changing the plates I entered the cabinet, the 
curtains having remained open. The apparition had disappeared like 
lightning at the ignition of the flash-light. Eva sank exhausted into 
Mme. Bisson's arms, who placed her carefully in her chair. Imme- 
diately afterwards the author searched the cabinet and the medium, 
but nowhere could a trace of the apparition be found. The medium 
changed from the seance costume into the dressing-gown, and \7as 
immediately put to bed. The space of time between the changing of 
the plates and the final examination of the medium and the cabinet was 
only a few seconds. Close of the sitting, 9.40 p.m. 

On the tightly stretched black cloth lining of the cabinet, under the 
wooden cross beams, there were two white spots about the size of a 
five-shilling piece, corresponding approximately to the middle of the 
back of the phantom, as it showed itself at first. But, as proved later, 
these patches were on the left of the photographed phantom. If there 
is any relation between the patches and the phantom, we must assume 
that the apparition made a lateral movement towards the corner of the 
cabinet, as, indeed, Mme. Bisson claims to have noticed. In any case, 
it is remarkable that other whitish patches are found on the back wall, 
corresponding to the position of the phantom previously photographed. 
These have the same appearance as the patches on the dress when 
subjected to microscopic analysis, and probably also contain cell detritus. 

The stereoscopic camera, mounted on one side, gave a front view of 
the medium and phantom, which is unfortunately not very well defined 
(Fig. 156). 

A second stereoscopic apparatus, placed in front of the cabinet, only 
shows the left side of the phantom, while Mme. Bisson's camera, being 



240 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

slightly turned to the left, gives a better result, which, however, only- 
shows half the phantom (Fig. 157). 

At first sight, one recognises the male figure with white mantle 
photographed on 23rd February and 24th March, and this time it closely 
resembles the first photograph. Again the apparition is half a head 
taUer than the medium, and the lower edge of the mantle, as shown by 
the photograph taken from above, is from 4 to 8 inches above the floor. 
Again the whole structure is flat, like a picture on linen, or something 
resembling leather ; in any case, some coherent material. 

On the author's negative the head is bent slightly to the left, in 
contrast to the upright position of the two previous pictures. The 
eyes are open, the gaze is directed half upwards as in the photograph 
of 23rd February 1913. But the eyelids are less open, so that, especially 
on the right side, the eyeball is not so prominent as in the first photo- 
graph. The pupils are also somewhat further to the right. In a word, 
the opening of the eyelids is flatter in our picture than in the first 
phptograph. The high light, corresponding to the incident illumination, 
is remarkable, and so is the distinct marking of the unusually black 
pupil of the left eye in Mme. Bisson's photograph. Over the forehead, 
upwards from the nose and in prolongation of the latter, there is a fold 
resembling a ridge, which is pointed where it joins the hair. 

As we see from a comparative study of the two stereoscopic trans- 
parencies, the nose and supra-orbital region are clearly marked out in 
low relief, as in a mask, and the beard gives the impression of rough 
hair, and therefore of reality. The prominent bridge of the nose 
continues, as already mentioned, in a ridge up to the hair. Another 
cross fold runs from the end of this ridge to the right, across the hair of 
the forehead. A part of the ridge is crossed by a crease in the forehead 
on the right. The whole head portrait lies flat on the broad beam of 
the cabinet frame as if fastened to it. Towards the right of it we also 
see two nails, which were hammered in by the author for suspending 
the photographic apparatus. 

The further development of the features appears to have been done 
by drawing or painting materials, and does not show any essential 
changes in comparison with the first picture. 

The distance between the medium and the materialised image is 
indicated by the broad shadow throAvn by her body on the phantom 
standing behind her. The shoulder of the phantom is less sloping in 
the last photograph than in the two previous ones, so that the shoulders 
appear broader and squarer. With the aid of the roof stereoscope we 
recognise at the left shoulder, which is bent forward at the top and 
sharply cut off, that the whole character of the structure consists of a 
white plate, of fair consistency, finished by pictorial means. Besides 
some remarkable parallel creases at the level of the knees, which on 
Mme. Bisson's photograph are hardly visible, the photograph shows 
distinctly projecting folds, which are plastically developed on the 
obviously soft ground substance, especially in the lower portion of the 
mantle. The outer line of the mantle also runs more irregularly than 
in the first pictures, and shows certain separate pieces, as well as fibres 
or threads. On the enlargement the drawing of the mantle is clearly 
seen to consist of strokes. 



SITTINGS IN MAY AND JUNE 1913 241 

Various lines are thick and soft, and as if running into the foundation. 
They are of varying depth, and are again and again broken by gaps, 
and contain thick points of a deeper colour. Generally speaking, we 
cannot escape the impression that the strokes consist of more or less 
closely united points, grains, or particles of different sizes and colourings, 
like the " organic rays " observed by Ochorowicz. On the larger scale 
the strokes, consisting of separate pieces or joints, recall the anatomical 
structure of certain kinds of reeds built up of regular joints or layers. 
As in the previous pictures, the arms are folded and the hands are 
invisible. But, in place of the left hand, we see a fairly large triangular 
piece of substance, with a broad dark rim, the character and significance 
of which cannot be explained. The covering of the throat is the same 
as in the first picture. 

We have here, for the third time, a representation of the same male 
type, but the differences in the three separate pictures of 23rd February, 
24th March, and 19th May, and in various photographic poses of this 
individuality, are so great that they could not be produced by any 
fraudulent use of one and the same image. It would at least have been 
necessary to smuggle in three life-size pictures of different appearance. 
Besides, on the last negative, we find an advance from the flat to the 
plastic in the design of the head. It must be remembered that the 
pictures of 24th March had the precise character of painted canvas, 
which is partly seen in the negatives of the last series also. Unless we 
doubt the reality of this remarkable materialisation process, we might 
expect that, in the course of time, a further plastic development of the 
phantom would take place. In this case the flat pictorial development 
of the psychic composition, or individuality, which is to be realised, 
would only be a necessary transition stage in the materialisation process 
towards those creations and figures which, in appearance and in motion, 
resemble real life, so that finally, as in Crookes's phantom " Katie King," 
we cannot distinguish them from real living organisms. 

The author's result of 19th May 1913 confirms the observations and 
photographic records of Mme. Bisson on 23rd February and 24th March, 
and for this reason alone it is of definite value in deciding the question 
of phantoms. 



Negative. 



Sittings of the 20th and 27th May 1913. 

Sitting of the 31st May 1913. 

Present. — Mme. Bisson. 

The medium this day wore the tunic with tights. Immediately 
after the beginning of the sitting the phenomena began, with the usual 
physiological accompaniments, in the form of materials streaming out 
of the mouth. Mme. Bisson observed that a small complete finger, tied 
up with this material, emerged from the mouth. This shows that the 
attachment is not made outside the mouth. The finger then grew to 
the normal adult size of a female finger. During the next exposure 
two further fingers were formed, which were joined by cords to the mouth 

<2 



242 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

and the rest of the material. The medium, in this case, had the sensation 
of having produced a whole hand, and she asked her protectress if she 
did not perceive it. Finally, Mme. Bisson carefully caught the finger 
stump in her own hand, touched it on both sides, and pressed it so that 
the medium cried with pain. In this case she observed that the finger 
felt like a real finger, like a consistent firm body, with a cool and skin- 
like exterior. 

In the further course of the sitting a piece of material emerged from 
Eva's mouth and laid itself across the medium's hands, which were held 
by Mme. Bisson, and of this a photographic record was made. It was 
all dra^vn into the medium's mouth as the light flashed up. During the 
sittmg Eva's hands were continually visible and under control. 

The enlarged photograph (Fig. 158) shows the medium's hands 
separated from below by Mme. Bisson's hands. A cord-like piece of 
material hangs from Eva's mouth over her right hand and down to the 
end of her first finger. To this band a round white structure is attached 
which, however, can hardly be called a finger fragment. A broad 
triangular attachment is seen on the upper part of this white fragment, 
and appears to coalesce with its surface. The manner of attachment on 
this day is quite different from that in the case of the finger of 16th May. 



Negative. 



Sitting of the 2nd June 1913. 



Sitting of the 3rd June 1913. 



Present. — Dr Bourbon, M. Bourdet, Mme. Bisson, and the author. 

Conditions. — Eva puts on tights and tunic, and is se\vn up from the 
neck to the waist and at the wrists. The tights were not sewn on to 
the tunic, because the medium often wishes to take them off during 
the sittings. Control as in previous sittings. 

8.50 P.M. Hypnotisation in thirty seconds. The hands remained 
in visible control during the whole sitting. The trance condition on 
this day was much quieter. 

9.30 P.M. A rather bulky material streams out of the mouth in the 
form of thick strips and threads, corresponding approximately to those 
photographed in the case of the veil phenomenon. 

9.35 P.M. Material becomes visible on her lap in the shape of a long 
strip, to which a small structure, resembling a finger, appears to be 
attached. 

9.45 P.M. New exposure. The miniature finger attached to the 
substance becomes visible — below the medium's hands, and as if protected 
by them while they grasp the curtain—and touches Mme. Bisson's hand. 
The impression is^ conveyed as if a long elastic rubber band emerged 
from the mouth and connected it with the finger. As soon as this is 
touched it is drawn back into the mouth with an elastic jerk, and dis- 
appears. 

10.15 P.M. At the next opening of the curtain the substance hangs 
in broad strips out of the mouth, and at the lower end a finger seems to 
be attached to it. Mme. Bisson illuminates the phenomenon with a 




Fig. 158. Mme. Bisson's flashlight photograph, 31 .May, 1913. 




Fig. 159. Mme. Bisson's flashlight photograph of 
8 June, 1913. 



OBSERVATIONS IN JUNE AND JULY 1913 243 

red torch. It is about 3 or 4 inches thick. Beside it, the dress of the 
medium is moistened m strips on her breast, and shines pink in the 
light. While the material itself looks grey, the more compact portions, 
like this finger, appear white. 

10.20 P.M. The form changes its shape. Sometimes it looks like a 
long narrow band, sometimes like a bulky packet. The phenomenon 
shows at various parts of the medium's upper body, once on her hair, 
and then on her right, or left, shoulder, but only remains visible for 
about a second. Eva is extremely timid, and protects the structure 
from the light and the sitters' gaze, like an anxious mother protecting 
her child. On the whole, the mediumistic efforts on this day are less 
violent and painful, but, on the other hand, the phenomena are feebler 
and more fugitive. 

The phenomena only occur after energetic suggestive words by 
Mme. Bisson, as if the medium's own will power was not able to over- 
come the impediments. 

10.28 P.M. Close of sitting. Negative result of the final examination. 

Observations in June and July 1913 
(Paris and La Baule). 

On 8th June Mme. Bisson hypnotised the medium at 8 p.m. without the 
intention of producing phenomena, but hardly had Eva entered the 
trance condition when, with whining expressions, she appeared to be 
defending herself against some intrusion. Then she undressed, and 
remained in a suffering condition for about thirty minutes. She rose, 
became restless, and moved to and fro in the cabinet. Mme. Bisson 
herself then entered the cabinet, sat down on Eva's chair, while Eva 
stood beside her, and left the curtain sufficiently widely open to observe 
the materialisation process. She held Eva's hands, but released them 
from time to time, in order to allow her to put her arms right up. Then 
Eva bent down and complained of pains in the back. Mme. Bisson saw 
a packet of material emerging from Eva's body at her waist, in the form 
of smoke taking the aspect of rays, and surrounded by a clearly visible 
" aura," or ring of light. This whole appearance then vanished, but 
now she saw, at the back of the cabinet, behind the medium, the outlines 
of the phantom against the back wall. Eva then clasped her back with 
both hands and complained of pains in the lumbar region. The phantom 
formed a head with a white strip hanging down from it. It followed 
Eva's movements, and became longer and broader, as if Eva were going 
to duplicate herself. As soon as the undeveloped phantom was suffi- 
ciently clearly seen, Mme. Bisson pressed the electric button. With the 
flash of the light everything vanished without a trace. At 9.15 p.m. Eva 
was able to retire to her bedroom. (Letter of Mme. Bisson, dated 9th 
June.) 

The plan to photograph the phantom in the nascent state had 
succeeded, for instead of a figure the negative (Fig. 159) gives only a 
white strip with a finished head. The length of the whole thing corre- 
sponds to the size of the phantom, as seen in previous pictures, while its 
width amounts to about one-third of the former distance between the 



244 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

shoulders. The whole phantom is traversed vertically by five long 
parallel rents or depressions, the most noticeable of which cuts the face 
quite sharply into two portions at the corner of the left eye. These two 
portions are not even correctly joined, so that the left eye is too high 
in proportion, and the left nostril appears to be cut off. The observer 
gets the impression as if the drawing of the face consisted of two pieces, 
and was to have been developed by separating these two pieces and 
filling up the gaps. This unfinished process taking place on a flat 
surface without plastic development is also indicated in the clothing 
by the long parallel rents, which are lost below in the folds of the mantle. 
The position of the hands is quite different from that in the previous 
phantoms. The expression of the face and the position of the eyes are 
similar to the previous photographs, except that the left side of the face, 
being undeveloped, appears too narrow. Both eyes show high lights 
corresponding to the incident light, and exhibit an essential difference 
in the drawing from the previous phantoms, especially as regards the 
opening of the eyelids and the direction of the gaze. This is particularly 
remarkable in the eyeball and the inner corner of the right eye, A 
close comparison between the four phantom pictures proves that, if we 
assume fraud, it is impossible that the same image could have been 
shown all the four times. On this assumption four different models 
must have been used. The presence of real high lights also is not 
explained, nor the tendency shown in the pictures to widen out in the 
same plane. The textile character of the mantle is shown by small 
threads, which project from the margin of the picture, which otherwise 
is flat ^nd disk-like. Although this photograph looks suspicious at the 
first glance, and was also produced after the close of our experiments, 
the author still considers it desirable to publish it in the collection, since 
it may be of interest for the study of folds and rents, such as were 
characteristic of the former photographic records. 

In describing the first phantom photograph, attention was drawn 
to some rents observed by means of the roof stereoscope, which traversed 
the figure from top to bottom. They are most likely the residues of 
the same process of development, which is now seen in its incomplete 
stage. In describing the negatives of a female head (30th November 
1912), it has already been pointed out that folds occurred in the material- 
ised forms undergoing observation. Now we observe the same process 
of folding during the development of the phantom. Whatever may be 
our point of view on this matter, the negatives mentioned seem to show 
that the process of folding occurs not only during the origin of the 
structures, i.e., before the complete materialisation, but also during 
their recession, i.e., their de-materiahsation. The criticism, which takes 
no account of the experimental conditions, will hardly forgo this 
opportunity for an unfavourable decision, and will use these folds as an 
argument to show that these structures are unfolded from a packet 
previously folded up. But this assumption is hardly supported by the 
peculiar character of these folds, which resemble parallel rents, and one 
cannot understand how the whole phantom can be fraudulently pro- 
duced in this manner. Besides, the whole controversy becomes mean- 
ingless if we consider the experimental conditions, since we must not 
forget that these experiments took place with a nude medium, and that 



OBSERVATIONS IN JUNE AND JULY 1913 245 

Mme. Bisson would have been the person to be deceived, although she 
sat on the medium's chair and followed the whole process on Eva's 
naked body. The problem is therefore a deeper one, and cannot be 
disposed of by such superficial criticism. 

For the last time before the close of this work the same phantom 
was observed by Mme. Bisson on 4th Auf^ust 1913, in their country house 
on the Loire (La Baule). This time it occurred outside the curtain, 
while the medium lay behind it in a deep trance, in the easy-chair, 
without any sign of life. The face of the phantom was perfectly 
modelled, and resembled that of a living person, Avhile the lower part 
of the mantle, formed of soft material, lay on the knees of the observer 
sitting in front of the curtain. And yet the surface of the mantle gave 
the impression of a drawing. 

A further letter of Mme. Bisson' s relates that in the sitting of 
13th June, which was attended by Dr Bourbon, she observed the tip of 
a small finger with a nail, which penetrated Eva's dress, grew in size, 
and also changed its shape. It remained visible for several minutes 
between the medium's knees, was quite independent of the substance 
hanging out of the mouth, and finally appeared within the veil which 
enclosed Eva's head. One of the observers also succeeded in touching 
it inside the veil, and subsequently outside. This material had a grey 
colour, and felt like a mass having a fair consistency and thickness. 

On 17th June Mme. Bisson was able to touch a completely formed 
finger which emerged from Eva's mouth, again in Dr Bourbon's presence. 
She followed up this finger while it penetrated through the veil, without 
tearing it, and without altering its own consistency. 

On 21st June the experiments were continued. Eva guided one of 
Mme. Bisson's fingers into her mouth. On this occasion she felt a 
materialised finger, wrapped in material, on the tip of Eva's tongue. 
It appeared to adhere to the skin of the tongue and the gums, and to 
emerge from them. On feeling the back part of the tongue and the 
mouth, these turned out to be quite free and intact, thus indicating 
that only the front half of the tongue was concerned in the materialisation 
process. She felt a nail on the same finger, and raised it with the nail 
of her own finger, whereupon the medium gave a cry of pain. This 
interference stopped the materialisation process. Everything was 
reabsorbed, and did not appear again that evening. 

On 29th June Mme. Bisson and Dr Bourbon again observed two 
fingers attached to the material. These fingers advanced in front of 
the curtain and laid themselves in the hands of the two observers. In 
this case the fingers and the substance were black instead of the usual 
grey or white colour. 

On 23rd July 1913 (in La Baule), at 3 p.m., several completely formed 
fingers wrapped in material, three of which showed nails, emerged from 
the vagina of the hypnotised medium, moved upwards over her skin, 
and disappeared without a trace at the moment when Eva awoke 
spontaneously with a cry of terror. 

The above communications, received by letter, arc not without 
value as a supplement to the previous observations already related.^ 

' Cp. Juliette Alexaudre-Bissou, " Les I'hrnonn'ne.s- dit.s dt Mati-riaH.tfition." Felix 
AlcHii, Paris, 1914. 



246 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 



RESULT OF THE MICROSCOPIC EXAMINATIONS. 

During the sitting held in Munich on the 8th September 1912, a cord-like 
structure was seen on the medium's dress. As already reported, it left 
behind on the dress a patch 9 inches long and 2 or 3 inches broad, 
which is reproduced in the illustration accompanying the report of the 
sitting (Fig. 114). In addition, the breast portion of the dress, which 
had been quite clean before the sitting, was found to have some smaller 
white spots on it. The material so obtained was handed over to the 
chemical laboratory of Messrs Schwalm, Munich, for examination. 
The expert opinion on this material is as follows : — 

On the 9th iust. you handed to me for examination a black dress having some matter 
deposited on the outside in various places. 

Physical Structure of Deposit. — The deposit consisted of long-drawn, narrow, twisted 
threads, and spots of a greyish-white colour. 

Under a magnifying glass it was found to be a dried mass resembling a secretion. 

Man7ier of Preparation. — At suitable places the substance was separated from the 
dress, and observed partly in watei', and partly after colouring with iodine solution, dilute 
solution of methylene Ijlue, hsenialum, and dilute carbolic fuchsine and embedding it in 
glycerined gelatine. 

Microscopic Structure. — Preparation I. in water. The microscopic image shows con- 
glomerates of colourless, lamellar, cohesive bodies, without a definite structure. There are 
also single laminre of various forms, polygonal, oval, etc. These resemble human epithe- 
lium, but exhibit no nuclei. 

Preparation II. coloured with Lugol's iodine solution and embedded in glycerined 
gelatine. Same microscopic appearance as No. I. 

Preparation III. coloured with hgemalum. The microscopic image shows the 
finest veil-like lamellae, some of them broken up into fibres, but otherwise without a 
definite structure. No nuclei are to be seen (Figs. 160, 161, 162). 

Preparation IV. coloured with methylene blue and embedded in glycerined gelatine. 
The microscopic image consists partly of conglomerates, partly of difl'used bodies of various 
forms re.sembliug epithelium (polygonal, round, spindle-shaped), with nuclei in some 
places. Also conglomerates of structures showing a cellular constitution, and resembling 
vegetable cells. Those admixtures which do not occur in the human body might be 
derived from the air or from the black stuff of the dress. 

In the sitting of 11th September 1912 I succeeded in catching a 
small amount of the liquid matter in a porcelain dish. 

The analysis, agam carried out in the Schwalm laboratory, is as 
follows : — 

On the I2th inst. you handed to me some material for examination which was at the 
bottom of a porcelain dish. 

One portion of the material was examined physico-microscopicallj, and another 
physico-chemically. 

I. PHYSICO-MICROSCOPIC EXAMINATION. 

Physical Observation. — The material forms a grey, veil-like, moist film. 

Alode of Preparation. — Transfer prejiarations were made of the ground deposit em- 
bedded in glycerined gelatine, some of the preparations being previously stained with 
iodine solution, hsemalum, dilute methylene blue solution, or dilute carbolic fuchsine. 

Result of Microscopic Examination (Figs. 163, 164, 165). 

Preparation I. embedded in glycerined gelatine. The microscope shows colourless, 
diffused bodies resembling epithelium, some of which show nuclei, and can then be iden- 
tified with human epithelium. There are numerous bacterial threads. Also small groups 
of bacterial spores and fibrous regetable remains. 



MICROPHOTOGRAPHS 
ENLARGED i6o TIMES 

(Made by Dr. Stein). 




Fig. i6o. Preparation 3A. Veil-like lamella broken up into 

FIBRES, NONDESCRIPT STRUCTURE. 






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Fig. 163. Sitting OF II September, 1912. Numerous epithelioid 

BODIES WITHOUT NUCLEI. AlSO GROWING BACTERIAL SPORES. 



RESULT OF THE MICROSCOPIC EXAMINATIONS 247 

Preparation II. stained with hiematoxylin (nuclear staining) and embedded in glycer- 
ined gelatine. Same result as No. 1, except that the epithelium Itodies, bacterial fibres, 
and vegetable remains occui' in greater numljers. 

Preparation III. stained with methylene blue and em])edded in glycerined gelatine. 
Same as II. 

Preparation IV. stained with carl)olic fuchsine and embedded in glycerined gelatine. 
Same as III. 

II. PHYSICO-CHEMICAL EXAMINATION. 

A portion of the material was collected on platinum foil, dried, and weighed. 

Physical Condition of the Material and its Ashes. — The material is of a brownish-black 
colour, and weighs 0'002 gramme. On ignition, the substance carbonises and smells dis- 
tinctly of burnt horn. A pure white ash remained, which weighed O'OOOG gramme. 

Chemical Compositioyi of the Ashes. — In the ashes are found : sodium chloride and 
calcium phosphate. The dark colovir of the material is evidently due to dust (or to a 
pigment ?). 

The process of comlnxstion indicates the presence of nitrogen, as in albuminous I)odies. 

In the same sitting (11th September) spots remained on the medium's 
dress after contact with the teleplastic substance, which also was 
analysed in the Schwalm laboratory. The report on this is as follows : — 

Physical Condition of the Deposit. — Part of the deposit consisted of a patch the size of a 
hand, and another part of long-drawn, curved streaks and spots of a whitish-grey colour. 
Examination with a magnifying glass showed a dried mass resembling a secretion. There 
were also white conglomerate specks embedded in the mass. 

Preparation. — At suitable places the deposit was detached from the dress and embedded 
in glycerined gelatine, some of it after staining with iodine solution, hsematoxylin, dilute 
methylene blue, and dilute carbolic fuchsine. 

In the folds of the dress, inside, minute transparent scales were found. 

MICROSCOPIC RESULT. 

Preparation {a). Shows conglomerates containing starch granules. 

Preparation (6). Shows a tangle of colourless (with a few dark blue) cotton threads and 
wood-fibre jjroducts. Among them there are numerous colourless lamellar bodies without 
definite structure, some of them showing forms characteristic of human epithelium. No 
nuclei can be found. (Fig. 166.) 

Preparation (c), from inside of dress. The microscope shows small groups and isolated 
colourless, epithelioid, cohei-ent, unnucleated bodies without definite structure. Also 
starch grains here and there. 

Preparation (</). Shows colourless filmy conglomerates with fine unsymmetrical 
cross-hatching. 

Preparation (c). Shows colourless conglomerates of epithelioid coherent bodies of 
indefinite form. At their rims polygonal shapes are found in some places. No definite 
structure recognisable. No nuclei. 

The starch granules mentioned in the above report may be derived from face-jxiwder 
used by Eva C. In the dressing-room there was .i powder-box on the washhand stand. 
The question has also been raised whether the cell detritus might be derived from a 
secretion of the mammary glands. This must be answered in the negative. In colostrum 
we find fatty cells having the appearance of alveolar epithelium with fatty degeneratioo. 
They occur in the company of small round fat globules. 

Four further microscopic preparations were obtained by the author 
in the Paris sitting of 18th November 1912, and were examined in 
the Antoine Hospital in Paris. The result is as follows : — 

(1) Large quantities of cell detritus and cell nuclei. 

(2) Large, clear, and well-isolated plate epithelium cells in conjunc- 

tion with various microbes. 



248 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

(3) Mucus-like substance with cell detritus and numerous microbes. 

(4) Some wool threads (from dress). 

The origin of the cells, whether from the mouth or the vagina, 
cannot be determined. 

Preparations (1) and (2) were sent later (4th December) to the 
Schwalm laboratory for a further examination, with the following 
result (Figs. 167 and 168) :— 

Preparation (1), coloured red. The microscope shows conglomerates of epithelioid 
bodies of irregular shape, probably embedded in mucus-like substance. Nuclear structures 
are recognisable in a few cases. The epithelioid bodies are mostly decomposing, though 
a few are intact. 

Preparation (2), stained blue. Tlie microscope shows mucoid, formless masses, and 
dispersed among them numerous unnucleated, polygonal, epithelioid structures, with 
many nucleated ones ; the latter are sometimes so well defined that they can be termed 
epithelium cells. There are also isolated cotton threads and fungoid threads. 

The liquids obtained on 27th November 1912 could not be preserved, 
owing to incorrect treatment. The preparations made eight days later 
from this evaporated residue showed nothing remarkable. 

Only one of them showed coarsely made, formless structures with 
irregular markings, consisting of roundish elongated meshes. This 
shows some haemorrhagic staining, and gives the impression of a 
thickened fragment of epidermis. Perhaps there is here an epidermis 
scale removed by scratching. 

In judging the above material we must first eliminate the accidental 
admixtures derived from the air and from the cotton dress, like fibrous 
vegetable remains, bacterial spores, starch grains, dust particles, and 
other impurities. Only those elements which occur in all the prepara- 
tions are significant. These include cell detritus and epithelium cells, 
with or without nuclei, finest veils, lamellae, either intact or dissolving 
into fibres, filmy aggregates, isolated fat grains and mucus. 

The combustion process shows the organic origin of the residues, 
but, in addition, the microscopic results obtained in Paris and Munich 
do not permit the slightest doubt that we have to do with organic, 
i.e., originally living matter. 

Without wishing to draw far-reaching conclusions from this fact, it 
does speak against the supposed use of textile products, of paper, 
rubber objects, etc., for the artificial presentation of the phenomena 
and of the automobile substance observed. 

As regards the probable origin of the material, such epithelial bodies 
and their products of disintegration would be normally looked for in 
the female genital system and in the mouth and gullet. 

The genital origin would in this case presuppose the penetration of 
the organic material through the black tricot and the black cotton 
dress, i.e., through a double layer of textile fabric. In the cases dealt 
with the tights were free from spots. That the genitals can give rise to 
the phenomena in question is already prov^ed by observations. But 
the microscopic observations do not show a single leucocyte, such as 
always accompanies vaginal epithelia, nor Doderlein's vagmal bacillus 
and other characteristic bodies. The lamellar veils shown in the micro- 
photographs do not occur in vaginal secretions, so , that the vaginal 
origin is very improbable. 




Fig. i66. Preparation (b). Siiiing of ii September, 191 i- 



RESULT OF THE MICROSCOPIC EXAMINATIONS 249 

PP As regards the mouth and pharynx, we may recollect that in one 
case, in Bayonne, sputum was traced, in conjunction with other cell 
products. Human saliva, as secreted by the three large glands, the 
parotid, submaxillary, and sublingual, as well as the smaller glands 
in the mouth epithelium, is a light blue, odourless, viscid, " stringy " 
liquid, which, when allowed to stand, separates into a transparent upper 
layer and a dull whitish-yellow layer, the latter consisting of mucus 
flocculi, salivary corpuscles, and buccal epithelium. The latter are 
mostly polygonal, and have a considerable size. There are also red 
blood corpuscles, leucocytes, fat droplets, common bacilli, and other 
micro-organisms and bacteria. The most important and ever-present 
constituent are the saliva corpuscles, which resemble leucocytes, but 
are larger and show a granulated protoplasm. 

Now, the material collected by us has a certain resemblance to saliva, 
while liquid. It is colourless, covered by a mouse-grey film, " stringy," 
viscid, and odourless. The light blue colour is absent ; on standing 
the liquid evaporates, leaving a dry residue (cell detritus) instead of 
separating into a yellowish layer, like saliva. 

This shows already that our liquid matter is not saliva. 

Out of all the microscopic preparations there is no case in which 
saliva corpuscles were shown to be present. White and red corpuscles 
were also absent, and so were the micro-organisms and bacteria charac- 
teristic of the mouth, like leptothrix and sarcina. 

The supposition that the cellular tissues and filmy veils of the 
material examined originate in the mucous membrane and pharynx is 
contradicted by the total absence of the blood corpuscles, bacteria, and 
saliva corpuscles characteristic of that origin. 

We must also take into account that even in air breathed out from 
the mouth we find such admixtures, and can nearly always detect their 
presence, as is shown by the microscopic preparations of precipitates on 
telephone diaphragms. 

Thus the absence in our microscopic preparations of products 
characteristic of the mucous membrane of the mouth and pharynx 
tells against regarding these membranes as the origin of the teleplastic 
tissues. If these were only detritus of the mouth they would certainly 
contain salivary corpuscles ; we can, therefore, exclude this possibility 
with some certainty. All the same, the material can originate in the 
mouth, as has often been observed and photographed, but its develop- 
ment must be independent of the mucous membrane, and the building 
up of the tissue cannot depend on the mouth itself. During expulsion 
from the mouth it might easily take some secretion from the mouth 
with it, so that a microscopic proof of such an admixture would have no 
connection with the real process of development. This may explain the 
results obtained in the Bayonne laboratory. 

Very probably the formation of the substance, which appears in 
the sittings as liquid material, and also as amorphous material, or filmy 
net-like and veil-like material in the form of shreds, wisps, threads, and 
cords, in large or small packets, is an organised tissue which easily 
decomposes — a sort of transitory matter which originates in the organism 
in a manner unknown to us, possesses unknown biological functions, and 
formative possibilities, and is evidently peculiarly dependent on the 



250 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

psychic influence of the medium. Thus the appearance shown in Figs. 
127, 129, and 135 corresponds to organic bodies both in its structure 
and its grouping, and recalls placental and mesenteric structures. 
Complicated functions of motion (growth and involution) and sensation 
(reaction to touch) were observed in them. The constituents of the 
veil-like and tissue-like creations also resemble fundamental shapes of 
the organic world in the branching and in the joining of their fibres 
(Fig. 154). 

But the investigations hitherto made do not suffice for any definite 
indications concerning the structure, composition, or function of this 
substance. 

At present we can only assert that such a self-moving, formative 
material can develop outside the body, and that during its disappearance 
it often leaves behind cell detritus, which permits us in conjunction 
with other observations to draw conclusions regarding its morphological 
composition. On account of its body -forming property we can compare 
the fundamental substance with structureless plasma. By plasma we 
mean the formative substance, or organic material, which is the vehicle 
of vital processes. Now, since all the changes of the substance observed 
by us take place outside the medium's organism, first on her skin, then 
on the clothed body, and finally separated from it, the name teleplasm 
is appropriate, once we admit the actuality of the substance. 

The cell detritus which remained behind and was collected by us 
is not an accidental admixture with the teleplasm. This is shown by 
the manner in which it was obtained and the absence of the characteristic 
elements of the bodily orifices from which such products might be derived. 

As regards the structure of the teleplasm, we only know this : that 
within it, or about it, we find conglomerates of bodies resembling 
epithelium, real plate epithelium with nuclei, veil-like filmy structures, 
coherent lamellar bodies without structure, as well as fat globules and 
mucus. If we abstain from any detailed indications concerning the 
composition and function of teleplasma, we may yet assert two definite 
facts : — 

(1) In teleplasm, or associated with it, we find substances of organic 

origin, various cell forms, which leave behind cell detritus. 

(2) The mobile material observed, which seems to represent the 

fundamental substance of the phenomena, does not consist of 
india rubber or any other artificial product by which its existence 
could be fraudulently represented. 

For substances of this kind can never decompose into cell detritus, 
or leave a residue of such. 



PHENOMENA WITH STANISLAVA P. 251 

PHENOMENA WITH STANISLAVA P. 

INTRODUCTION. 

The Polish medium, Stanislava P., at the author's invitation, placed 
hersslf at his disposal in Munich for a series of sittings extendino- from 
29th September 1912 to 21st February 1913. The mediumship of this 
nineteen-year-old girl, who was employed as a cashier in a business at 
Warsaw, was discovered a year before and developed by Mr S. at Warsaw 
in a series of sittings. 

In her eighteenth year Stanislava P. experienced in her room a 
telepathic hallucination by the optical appearance of her friend Sophie, 
of the same age, who, as it was afterwards found, had unexpectedly died 
at that moment. This experience directed attention to her mediumistic 
faculty, and suggested experiments with Stanislava in conformity with 
the spiritistic tradition. After this, the personification " Sophie " 
played the leading part in the manifestations. 

Stanislava P. came of a good family, but lost her parents at an early 
age, and was adopted by a gardener. Up to her tenth year she remained 
illiterate, and when, at eighteen years, she took part in the sittings for 
the first time, she could not yet read or write perfectly. She showed, 
in accordance with her degree of education, a very limited comprehension 
of the necessary conditions of these experiments, only consenting to 
them with reluctance, to oblige her benefactor, and in order to earn her 
living. In her case, there is a great aesthetic awkwardness and a lack 
of disposition towards plastic art, and this is clearly seen in her material- 
ised products. " Spiritism " she did not know even by name, when the 
first experiments were made with her, thus any assumption relating to 
a possible training in conjuring are devoid of every foundation. 

On the other hand, it should be mentioned that Stanislava P. created 
the most favourable impression on the persons whom she met in Warsaw 
and Munich by her modest, simple, and amiable character. But her 
excessively developed modesty, her great timidity, and emotional dis- 
position rendered the application of rigid experimental conditions diffi- 
cult. Any new method of control she regarded as an aspersion upon 
her honesty, and this was often followed by emotional excitement, tears, 
sleepless nights, and negative sittings. She did not permit an examina- 
tion of her naked body by the author or any other male person, whereas 
she had no objection to the presence of ladies while she undressed and 
put on the seance costume (tights and apron dress, as in the case of 
Eva C). For this reason ladies had to be admitted to the sittings. 
After her return, a lady physician sent the author a virginity certificate 
concerning the medium. 

The arrangement of the experiments required, from the beginning, 
a delicate adaptation to the peculiarities of her character, but especially 
a discreet consideration for her well-developed sense of female honour 
and modesty, if positive results were to be achieved at all. Finally, we 
must not forget that in Stanislava P. we have a young novice whose 



252 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

mediumistic career, hardly a year old, cannot be compared with the 
experience and education of Eva C, extending over nearly ten years. 
For that reason, conditions which could be applied, after four years, to 
Eva C, as the result of long and laborious training, could not be imme- 
diately applied to Stanislava. Under these circumstances, some of the 
phenomena presented by this mediumistic debutante are less evidential 
and convincing than the manifestations of Eva C. Yet there has never 
been any indication justifying the suspicion that she had introduced 
fabrics, veils, hands, gloves, etc., into the cabinet in any form. Before 
every sitting Stanislava usually undressed completely in the presence 
of a lady, and put on the seance costume which was prescribed by the 
author, consisting of tights with a black apron tunic. The two articles 
of apparel were not sewn together, as even if that had been done it 
might have been maintained that the medium could touch her skin, so 
long as she had the use of her hands. The medium's condition and 
history exclude the use of the vagina as a hiding place, but so long as 
the character of the phenomena is such that they cannot be imitated 
under the same conditions, such objections may be disregarded in any 
case. 

During the second series of experiments in Munich, June to August 
1913, we often used a black tricot for the whole body which had only 
to be closed down the back. A veil securely sewn to the neck of the 
garment covered the whole head, and was closed with ribbons at the 
neck (Fig. 169). Along the slit on the back, and on the veil, there were 
a large number of black rings through which a string was drawn. The 
knot was sealed with a lead seal. If we also take into account that the 
hands were contained in white or black sacks of veiling sewn to the 
sleeves, one must admit that it is altogether impossible to smuggle 
objects for a fraudulent purpose out of this prison enclosing the whole 
body. Besides, the material of the tricot is sufficiently transparent to 
show the whole surface anatomy and the main shades of the epidermis. 
Since the cabinet was also strictly searched beforehand, we may assume 
that under these conditions it would be an absolute impossibility to 
produce previously hidden objects, and to manipulate them through 
the delicate veils with the hands. The practical results achieved by this 
method may be considered as of equal value to those obtained by Eva C 
Of the whole photographic results obtained with Stanislava P., only 
those are here communicated which are of interest for the present work 
on account of their agreement with those of the Paris meetings. 

Sittings in January and February 1913 (Munich). 

Sitting with Stanislava P. on the 25th January 1913. 

Present. — Privatdozent Dr E,, Freiherr von Gleichen-Russwurm 
(author) with his wife, Herr von Kaiser (painter), a Pole who acted as 
interpreter, the author and his wife. 

Seance Room. — Cabinet and cameras as during the Munich sittings 
with Eva C. 

Illumination. — As in August 1912, but the illumination of a hundred 




Fig. 169. Fastening of the costume worn by 
Stanislava p. in the sittings from 23 June 
TO I July, 1915- 



PHENOMENA WITH STANISLA^^A P. 253 

candle-power was too bright, and, as a rule, we had to switch off four 
lamps, so that only a thirty-five candle-power red bulb gave light, yet 
the room was sufficiently bright. The sitters sat 5 to 7 feet in front of 
the curtain. 

Initial Control and Dress. — Before every sitting the young girl went 
into a separate room accompanied by the author's wife or some other 
lady. Here she undressed completely and put on the seance costume 
(exactly like Eva C), so that, under the tricot and the dress, there was 
only her naked body (no shoes). Her own dress remained in the room 
referred to, and was sometimes examined without the medium's know- 
ledge by the author. On account of the fine transparent material of the 
seance costume, an external examination sufficed to tell whether packets 
or veils were hidden anywhere. There was also an examination of the 
hair, done up in a braid, and of the ears, mouth, etc. This examination 
was carried out by Dr E. and the author. 

It has been stated that hysterical persons, who have no reflex action 
of the soft palate, are able to use the inner nose passage as a hiding place. 
Apart from the pros and cons of such a far-fetched hypothesis, we must 
not lose sight of the fact that an obstruction of this passage renders the 
drawing of air into the nose impossible, and the author made the medium 
close her mouth and blow through each of her nostrils in turn. This 
regular test always gave a negative result. The access of air to the 
lungs through the nose was never stopped. After careful examination 
of the cabinet by Dr E., Stanislava entered the seance room (which she 
had not entered before), guided by Dr E. and the author, and took her 
place on the easy-chair in the cabinet. 

Hypnotisation by the author : fixation, suggestion, and mesmeric 
passes. It should be mentioned that Stanislava, during this period, was 
hypnotised daily by the author, including the days when there were no 
sittings, so as to achieve by suggestion her favourable psychic adjust- 
ment. After barely half a minute, the medium fell into somnambulism, 
and remained in a state of passive hypnosis during the whole sitting. 
In contrast with Eva C, she hardly ever spoke during hypnosis, although 
she sometimes opened her eyes. 

Course of the Sitting. — Commencement, 9 p.m. Only after the curtain 
had been closed did the other sitters enter the seance room and take 
their seats in the appointed places. Herr von Kaiser sat beside a 
musical box, which was kept going durmg the whole sitting, and attended 
to it, the medium having been accustomed to this by the Warsaw 
sittings. 

Extinction of the white light. The sitters passed the time in con- 
versation while the medium's hands were behind the curtain. A 
correspondence with the mediumistic forces was carried on by raps, 
which came from behind the curtain. These were not the subject of the 
investigation, so that it appears irrelevant whether they were produced 
automatically by the medium or telekinetically. 

Of the occurrences observed during this sitting, it need only be 
mentioned that when the medium's hands opened the curtain a white 
wisp coming from her mouth was observed on her breast by all those 
present. The flash-light was turned on at the next exposure. 

At the close of the sitting the author awakened the medium from 



254 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

a fairly deep hypnosis. Stanislava only recovered slowly. While she 
was still hypnotised, Dr E. and the author passed their hands over her 
whole body, and this was repeated when she awoke, but the examination 
of the medium and the cabinet was negative. On the breast of the dress, 
however, quite corresponding to the place at which the materialised 
structure had touched it, there was a white patch, about the size of 
half a crown, which on examination under the microscope in the form 
of ten preparations gave the following composition :— 

111 the first nine preparations examined tliere are cellular granulated structures, 
about the size and shape of white blood corpuscles, or mucus corpuscles,^ and also bodies 
resembling epithelium without nuclei, and true epithelium. In Preparation No. 10 
there were sharply defined nuclear aggregates of leucocytes and clearly marked epithelium. 

The result of the examination of Preparation 10 justifies the assumption tl^at the 
cellular granulated structures found in otlier preparations also represent leucocytes 
whose nuclei are concealed by the granulation, and that the unnucleated epithelioid 
bodies represent epithelium with its nuclei already decomposed. 

As regards the origin of the material examined, its whole arrangement and com- 
position, especially in Preparations 1 and 2, indicate sputum rather than anything else, 
since there are not only abundant leucocytes and mucus corpuscles, but also scale epithelia 
(squamous epithelium) as well as round epithelia with fatty degeneration (alveolar 
epithelia), as in Preparatitm 7, which fit into the scheme. 

The elongated form of the leucocytes, which frequently occur in the viscous material, 
are characteristic of sputum. 

On the other hand, the appearance of the spots on the black dress does not indicate dried 
sputum since the latter forms whitisli, shiny pellicles, composed of innumerable small islets 
due to the air bubbles mixed with the sputum. The whitish spots examined were without 
lustre and showed no admixture of air bubbles. 

Other origins (nose secretions would show characteristic epithelia) are excluded, since 
the spots were found on the breast of the tunic. 

The successful photographic records (Fig, 170) show a broad compact 
irregularly formed mass about 20 to 22 inches long emerging from the 
open mouth of the medium and filling up its whole opening. This mass 
remains suspended ; it does not lie on the front of the dress. It seems 
composed along its whole length of two strips, which coalesce below, 
or are woven together. The longitudinal furrow on both pictures must 
be interpreted in that sense. The surface appears rough, irregularly 
formed, and somewhat resembling a wool product. 

The great lightness of the substance is suggested by the fact that 
it does not sink but is suspended in the air, unless, indeed, it has a 
sufficiently rigid character, determined in its situation by the position 
of the mouth. Such a rough, shred-like character in materialised 
phenomena proceeding from the mouth is also seen in a number of 
photographs taken with Eva C, and the parallelism between the two 
mediums is worthy of notice. 



Sitting of the 31st January 1913. 

Present. — Mr and Mrs Schott, Miss Kolb, Colonel Pfiilff, Dr E., von 

Kaiser, and the author. 

The medium put on her seance costume in the presence of Mrs Schott 
and was examined by Dr E. and the author, and hypnotised as on 

^ These are often difficult to distinguish^ especially in dried objects. 



PHENOMENA WITH STANISLAVA P. 255 

25th January. Illumination and experimental arrangements were the 
same as in that sitting. 

After several occurrences of phenomena, not to be described here> 
the same long white materialisation proceeding from the mouth was 
observed as on 25th January. Some of the observers claimed to see, 
at the end of the strip, a hand with a stretched index finger. My wish 
to touch the structure and illuminate it with white electric light was 
refused. A flash-light photograph was taken, the curtain was closed, 
the phenomenon disappeared, and the sitting was continued. There 
were some further manifestations which have no connection with the 
mouth phenomena. The sitting was closed after lasting about an hour 
and a half. The final examination, as on 25th January, was negative. 

As this day's photographs (Fig. 171) show, the structure developed 
from the mouth is essentially the same as that observed on the 
25th January. There is a broad, thick, rough, and consistent white 
strand, resembling an arm, the fundamental structure of which, as 
shown by the enlargement, appears to be granular. No pattern of any 
organic or technical fabric is to be seen. The exterior surface is partly 
striped, irregular, and rough. At the end of the mass, which broadens 
below, there are three quite coarsely designed fingers, one of which, the 
index, is stretched, while the two others are bent. A fine and nearly 
transparent strip lies under the right external margin of the ribbon-like 
structure, as shown by the side view. This shape is also suspended, 
and does not touch the dress. Here, then, we find another parallel to 
the performances of Eva C. The product developed from the mouth, 
which is not veil-like, shows in both cases a tendency to form shapes 
such as hands and fingers. 



Sitting of the 15th February 1913. 

Present. — Mrs von S., who superintended the medium's dressing. 
Countess K., Dr E., von Kaiser, and the author. 

Beginning, 5 p.m. Conditions, control, and plan of the sitting as 
before. 

When a white surface became visible on her head, the author, with 
the medium's permission, turned on the flash-light. The sitting was 
closed after an hour's duration. Final examination negative. 

On the photograph (Fig. 172) secured on 15th February the observer 
sees on the forehead of the somnambulist a white flat shape, with four 
projections, resembling a claw or a sketch of a hand of the most primitive 
form. The back of the hand ends pointedly in a stalk projecting into 
the dark space. The fourth member appears somewhat twisted about 
its own axis. On the enlarged side view one can see that the substance 
composing this structure has the same rough woolly character as the 
strip emerging from the mouth and described above. No sort of 
pattern is to be recognised, as there would be in the case of a woven 
fabric or wood-fibre product. The finger-shaped projections, corre- 
sponding to the size of an adult's fingers, follow the curvature of the 
forehead, curving round the temples, but stand off from the skin and 



256 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

cast shadows upon it. The projection corresponding to the left thumb 
is wanting, but a portion of the structure is held by a second triangular 
piece of dark material, which is also flat and emerges from the medium's 
mouth. The lowest pointed corner bends round and vanishes between 
the lips, filling up the half-open mouth. This dark substance also 
appears rough and fibrous. 

The mediumistic products of the 25th and 31st January and of 
15th February exhibit throughout a woolly character. With the help 
of wadding, one might perhaps produce similar pictures, but on further 
examination of the enlargements one does not anywhere find the 
characteristic fibrous composition of wadding. Besides, in manipulating 
wadding some fibres almost always adhere to the clothing, which could 
not be removed in the dark, and would have been found. Automatic 
motion is not found in any of the forms. 

Considered objectively, the pictures make an unfavourable impres- 
sion. Manipulation with the mouth might have been seen by Stanislava 
in the photographs of Eva C, and might have then been imitated. We 
must add that during the production of the phenomena the curtain 
was closed. If no other proofs were available for the mediumistic power 
of Stanislava P. we should have to arrive at an unfavourable judgment, 
in spite of the control being as strict as possible. We must not overlook 
the remarkable agreement of many details of observation of Stanislava P. 
with the phenomena produced by Eva C. Thus, the shred-like fibres 
and irregular fundamental character of the substance are similar with 
both mediums, so is the flat sketch-like impressionistic form of the 
structures, and, finally, the mode of occurrence by generation in an 
orifice of the body — in this case, the mouth. In any case, there seems 
to be an independent agreement in the results of both mediums, though 
the whole of the creations of Stanislava P. appear less perfect and could 
be more easily imitated. 

The Polish medium, on her return journey, remained several days in 
Vienna, and in March 1913 she gave several sittings in a private house 
without the author's knowledge, who only learnt of this several months 
afterwards. The following extract is taken from a letter of a well-known 
Vienna physician, Dr Harter, with his permission : — 

" Now I may tell you that at the first sitting I laughed ! I sat 
mostly at the back. But during the second sitting I was puzzled, and 
since that time the Saul is become a Paul. This second sitting with 
Stanislava has had the result of totally reversing my former conception 
of life. All nature and all life for me has assumed a new aspect. I 
immediately threw myself with fiery zeal into the study of the literature 
of the subject, which at that time I had to pick up wherever I could get 
it. On one occasion I addressed my doubts to you by letter, and you 
were so kind as to give me really valuable hints, for which I am very 
grateful. Even to-day I thank the fate which by chance allowed me 
to see the little Polish girl, for I know to-day that I was an ignorant fool, 
and considered official science the beginning and end of wisdom. Now 
I am cured of that, although many scruples and doubts still assail me. 
In my occupation with this subject I found that which one loses in the 
exact sciences, namely, a belief in the soul." 




Fig. 173. Author's flashlight photograph, ^3 June, 1913. 



' ■ ft 


\Tt ^'\, 


. « 



Fig. 174. 



Author's flashlight photograph, i July, 1913. 
Front view. 




Fig. 175. Condition of the head veil after the phenomenon of Fig. 174. 





^ 


^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ 


^^^^HffiK^ 


Kjfc^^Jjg^ 


^|H^^^^HH| 


1 













Fig. 176. Enlargement of Fig. 174. 



PHENOMENA WITH STANISLAVA P. 257 

Sittings of June and July 1913 (Munich). 

Sitting of the 23rd June 1913. 

Present. — Herr von Kaiser, Herr Sch., Princess R., and the author. 

Stanislava put on the whole tricot, with wide full bags for the hands, 
and a white veil covering over the head. The fastening of the head 
veil and the tricot were lead-sealed. All other conditions and control 
were as in the sittings of January and February 1913. 

8.30 P.M. Hypnotisation by the author. Red light switched on, 
curtain closed. After about half an hour a long veil-like strip was 
shown, which came out of the medium's mouth and appeared to pene- 
trate the veil. A flash-light photograph was taken. Sitting closed at 
10 P.M. Final examination of the medium and cabinet negative. All 
the veils and lead seals intact. 

The enlarged photograph (Fig. 173), taken from the left within the 
cabinet, shows the medium's head in a black veil, and her hands in 
white veils. From the mouth down to the left hand there extends a 
broad fibrous material passing through the veil, which at its upper end 
shows a thick bulge, and is marked by a transparent pattern which, in 
its branchings, recalls vegetable fibres rather than textiles. It is 
interesting to note the difference between the regular square thread 
structure of the white veil, covering the hands, and the marking of the 
mediumistic product. A piece of the black veil seems to be drawn back 
into the mouth by Stanislava, so that the process of the penetration of 
the veil is not clearly shown. For this reason the experiment was 
repeated under the same conditions, with the head veil drawn more 
tightly, and the suggestion was made not to draw it into the mouth. 
But the experiment, in any case, is evidential, since the medium had 
no materials at her disposal with which she could have brought about 
such a result, outside her dress. 

Sitting of the 1st July 1913. 

Present. — Herr von Kaiser, Herr Sch., the author and his wife. 

The sitters sat immediately in front of the curtain. Conditions, 
illumination, and hypnosis as on 23rd June 1913. The author's wife 
superintended the medium's toilet. She wore the whole tricot as on 
23rd June. The white veil bags for the hands were replaced by black 
ones. The fastening of the head veil and tricot was lead-sealed. 

After hypnosis had set in, it was suggested to the medium that she 
should repeat the experiment of 23rd June, so that we might be able to 
see the material both inside and outside the veil. The curtain was 
closed and a correspondence by raps took place. 

After thirty minutes we again saw, extending from the mouth to the 
waist, a strip with a length of about 20 inches, and a width of 6 or 8 
inches. A flash-light photograph was taken and the curtain was closed. 
The sitting came to an end, and the final examination was negative. 

On the photograph, taken from the front (Figs. 174 and 175), the 
forms of the body are clearly marked out through the tricot. In this 
case, the veil was drawTi more tightly over the face and showed fewer 

K 



258 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

folds. The upper lip is covered by a white substance, which appears 
to penetrate the veil, broadening out on the outside. There is a remark- 
able difference from the drawing of the structure of 23rd June, While 
the former recalls vegetable fibres, the present photograph shows a 
structure of lace-work, of woollen threads of various sizes, with thickened 
edges (Fig. 176). 

The views from the right and from the left (Figs. 177 and 178) 
corroborate these details, and hardly leave a doubt that the materialised 
substance, in a veil-like form, has penetrated the veil mask. 

Fig. 175 shows the condition of the veil after the experiment, and 
particularly in the place where the penetration occurred. The con- 
ditions of attachment in the experiment of the 1st July did not allow 
any further possibility of a fraudulent production of these phenomena. 
They form an interesting analogy with the experiments of Eva C. on 
16th May 1913. 

Sittings of the 25th June and 13th July 1913. 

Conditions, illumination, and plan of the sitting as before. Pro- 
fessor B. and the author undertook the initial and final examinations of 
the medium and the cabinet on 25th June, and Dr C. (physician) and 
the author on 13th July. 

In these sittings the veil phenomenon already mentioned was again 
produced. The curtain was only opened after the material had been 
formed. 

On both evenings we succeeded in working the kinematograph for 
several minutes. These were the first occasions on which this had been 
done. The film taken on the first evening comprises about 360 pictures, 
and that on 13th July over 400. The two films in Figs. 179 and 180 
show the recession of the material into the mouth, and the second film 
also shows the broadening and narrowing of the substance. On 30th 
July some photographs were taken with a portion of the matter still 
attached to the mouth, and finally the mouth was shoA\Ti after the material 
had disappeared. The changes, visible on Fig. 180, might not suffice 
for the proof of an independent inner motion of the substance, however 
remarkable they may be. That the changes in the volume are produced 
by motions of the head is hardly suggested by the kinematograph. The 
objection will no doubt be raised that Stanislava probably drew the 
veil-like substance with her tongue into her mouth, and then swallowed it. 

It is not denied that this is physiologically possible, but such an 
explanation would, in any case, assume an occurrence experienced only 
in a few rare cases by specialists in digestive diseases. The mere proof 
by photography of such a fact in the case of the medium would be a 
novel achievement worthy of mention for this reason alone. In any 
case, in both sittings the mouth was examined after the phenomenon 
had disappeared, without any remnants being found. Although this 
occurrence is not, by itself, evidential, as regards the disappearance and 
chance in volume of the substance, the success of the kinematographic 
record of a mediumistic materialisation phenomenon represents such a 
considerable progress in method that, for this reason alone, the publica- 
tion of some selected pictures of the series in both films should not be 




Fig. 177. Side view from within the cabinet. (Right.) 



O 




Fig. 178. Side view from within the cabinet. {Left.) 




Fig. 179. Selected cinematograph pictures of 25 June, 1913, showing absokptk 
OF the substance into the mouth. 




Fig. i8o. Selected cinematograph pictures of 13 July, 1913, showing widening 

AND narrowing OF THE SUBSTANCE, AND ITS RECESSION INTO THE MOUTH. 



PHENOMENA WITH STANISLAVA P. 259 

omitted. The investigator must in all his work state the truth, without 
considering whether it corresponds to his expectations or not. 

RESULTS OF THE OBSERVATIONS. 

The proof of the mediumistic faculty in Stanislava P. is not only found 
in her materialisation phenomena, but also in certain telekinetic actions 
spontaneously occurring, in her case, in daylight, as the author has 
several times had occasion to observe. If one only Judged by the 
appearance of the products exposed in the sittings, which partly 
resembled large flat men's leather gloves, or compact woolly masses up 
to the size of a forearm, or veil materials of fairly coarse structure, the 
decision would not be in her favour. Besides, the structures produced 
by her are all coarse and imperfect in their form. 

Now, it has already been pointed out by Colonel Peter ^ that, during 
materialisation phenomena, the apparel, i.e., the dress materials, pro- 
duced and partly used for clothing the phantoms, give the strongest 
handle for the criticism advanced by sceptics, as soon as it is shown that 
they resemble terrestrial materials, or are composed of them. Peter 
has shown, by careful examination of such cloth samples as the finest 
crepe, which were obtained from phantoms of different mediums under 
conditions excluding fraud, that they do not differ in any way from 
materials produced by the weaving loom. The creation of such materials 
is not more wonderful than the materialisation of living members, so 
that, in judging this point, we always come back to the conditions of 
production. 

The initial and final examination of the bodily surface regularly 
carried out with Stanislava P., the wearing of a special seance costume, 
and the large volume of the material represented by the photographs, 
speak against the possibility of hiding them on or about her body. This 
also disposes of the objection of a scientific witness whose only reason 
for refusmg to vouch for the genuineness of the phenomena was that 
the medium did not give him permission for a gynaecological examination. 

Quite apart from this question, the genuineness of the mediumistic 
performances can be vouched for by the character of the phenomena 
themselves. 

Thus, with Stanislava P. the author could, on several occasions, 
and under conditions excluding such manipulations as are referred to 
by Ochorowicz, in his essay on " Involuntary Production of Unconscious 
Fraud," observe a structure resembling a hand, which carried out 
movements, and grasped and threw away objects held out to it. In this 
case, the medium's hands are visible, holding the curtain, her feet and 
knees were in their place, as was proved by the author during the pheno- 
menon, by touching her knees several times, and her head was also 
visible m the red light. The author sat immediately in front of the 
curtain, and again and again verified the entire inactivity of the medium's 
limbs during the investigation. Under the same evidential conditions 
(immobile, visible body of the medium) a handkerchief held out by the 
author into the back of the cabinet was grasped and drawn away with 

1 Josepli Peter^ Vie Gewundung der I'hantome (the dress of pliantoms), Zeritralblatt 
fur Okkultismua, July 1002. 



260 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

considerable force, as was a handkerchief laid on the hands in the 
medium's lap in another sitting, while her head was visible. These 
examples suffice to show the evidential character of certain phenomena 
in themselves. 

In the suspicions cast upon all mediums, even now, and in the 
attempts at negative explanations, we find performances assumed which 
have not been successfully accomplished under the same conditions 
even by the cleverest conjurors, and which in themselves require a 
proof of their possibility as manual tricks. That many phenomena, 
especially among those presented by mediumistic beginners of unde- 
veloped power, can be imitated, is not to be denied, especially if the experi- 
mental conditions are not carefully chosen. But does this circumstance 
alone suffice to support a serious imputation of fraud ? Surely not. 

The objections should be further tested in other sittings, and proved 
facts should take the place of mere suspicions and vague possibilities. 

In the photographs of the sittings of Stanislava P. we may distinguish 
two groups, those of January and February 1913 and those of June and 
July 1913, The former shows, in four pictures, a fairly long white 
substance emerging from the mouth, and in two other pictures flat, 
badly-drawn hand-shapes. The substance used for these seems to be 
the same in all three cases. In the second group, including the kine- 
matograph reproductions, the mouth is again the origin of the long 
veil-like substance which hangs down her breast and penetrates the 
tulle veil covering her head. 

In the first veil photograph the material shows the structure of 
unravelled vegetable fibres, while the fundamental structure in the 
second experiment shows a resemblance to irregular distorted crochet 
work in wool threads. Although this point cannot be decided from the 
kinematograph pictures, on account of their smallness and indistinct- 
ness, we appear to have to deal with a structure resembling vegetable 
fibre. In neither case do we find the characteristic marking of the 
squarely arranged threads of purchasable silk veils. The conditions of 
the veil phenomenon excluded the possibility of fraudulent production. 
Like Eva C, Stanislava P. produces flat forms resembling sketchy hands. 
The emergence of the material from the mouth, and its disappearance 
into it, which was also observed in the case of Eva C. under evidential 
conditions, was found again with Stanislava P., and even recorded by 
the kinematograph. We also find remarkable analogies between the 
two mediums in the bizarre and irregular formation of the structures, 
and in the veil-like, fibrous condition of the material produced. 



RETROSPECT. 

NEGATIVE POINTS AND THE HYPOTHESIS OF FRAUD. 

The study and comparison of the illustrations published in this work 
will no doubt give rise to objections of all sorts, especially if the experi- 
mental arrangements described in the records of the sittings are not 
taken into account, i.e., if it is assumed that, in spite of four years of 



RETROSPECT 261 

effort, and in spite of every care, the observers were the victims of elabor- 
ate fraudulent manipulations. It is true that the consistent execution 
of such manipulations for so long a time would be from the conjuring 
point of view a most formidable and astounding performance, which 
would offer new psychological points of view concerning possibilities of 
deception and errors of observation, which have not been hitherto 
known to the same extent. 

Even from this point of view, the publication of all the experiments 
is justified, as it would contribute an informing chapter to the subject 
of superstition and magic. 

What is first noticed, during a superficial examination of the pictures, 
is their extraordinarily improbable appearance. Most of the products 
and objects photographed recall well-known objects familiar from our 
o^^^l observations. Thus the amorphous substance often resembles 
bunches and fibres of unravelled wool or cotton, as, for instance, in the 
photograph of 13th March 1911. The fingers, resembling pseudopods, 
or ribbons, as well as the hand-shapes seen in the years 1911-12, are 
mostly flat, and have the appearance of stencils cut out of paper in the 
semblance of gloves, as, e.g., the hand lying on Eva's shoulder taken in 
the same sitting. The finished products visible on Eva's body, which 
clothe her head and breast, cover her face, or later are used for the 
decoration of the mediumistically produced faces and heads, resemble 
fabrics of silk or cotton, or handkerchiefs and napkins. To this we must 
add that the margins are often turned in and apparently hemmed, and 
that the fundamental design appears to correspond to the pattern of 
fine hand embroidery in lace and linen. Also, we even notice the use 
of threads, recalling linen threads, of twine and ribbon-like shreds, 
which may even be looped and tied round the objects and used for 
suspending them (Figs. 58, 123, 130, 148, and 158). 

Some of the materials have even a skin-like, hairy quality, and give 
the optical impression of tanned leather, with spotted shading. On the 
17th and 20th May 1912, solid bodies, in the shape of a slipper, appeared, 
and in another sitting a structure appeared which resembled a long, 
empty, woman's white glove. 

It is certainly asking a great deal of common sense to believe that 
all these things, familiar in our daily life, owe their existence to a 
mediumistic creative process of a totally unknown nature ; that they 
are generated from an invisible substance derived from the medium's 
organism, and that, after a fugitive earthly existence, they again dissolve 
and are reabsorbed by that same organism. It is surely simpler and 
more natural to assume that these objects are somehow at the medium's 
disposal, and were smuggled in, in spite of our control, than that they 
are fugitive forms of transitory matter of psycho-physical emanation. 

The problem becomes more complicated if we study the face and 
head pictures, which come in fragments or isolated, flat, or mask-like 
forms, mostly in a drapery of veiling or cloth. In spite of an extra- 
ordinary vivacity of expression in many portraits, neither the observer 
nor the student of the picture ever get the impression that we have to do 
with real, living, though incomplete forms. The pictorial, mask-like, 
diagrammatic character predominates. In contrast with other observers, 
the author has never been able to perceive separate motions of the mouth 



262 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

or the eyes in these faces. Mme. Bisson claims sometimes to have 
observed motions of the eyes. On the other hand, the flat and plastic 
hand-shapes often proved their mobility by the grasping of objects and 
by various touchings of the sitters. The flat, pictorial, sketch-like 
appearance of the heads, which often appear as if cut out, and therefore 
with sharp edges, must, on a superficial examination, give rise to 
suspicion. Among possible foundations we might consider, in this 
connection, the finest sorts of paper, as well as fabrics of silk and linen. 
Thus we find, in the face profiles photographed by the author on 
15th August 1912, that the portrait ends backwards in a broad, flat, 
and obviously stiff band, which, by its consistency, gives an obvious 
impression of paper. This seems to have been repaired in one place by 
laying, or sticking on, a semicircular sheet (Fig. 113). Such a com- 
position is also indicated by the ridges and furrows of the folds, which 
are clearly recognised and fit into each other. On the other hand, the 
face of a young woman, reproduced in Fig. 103, is surely drawii on a 
soft textile foundation, as is sho^vn bv the side and back views (Figs. 104 
and 105). 

The pictorial character is also clearly seen in the portrait of 
M. Bisson (Fig. 92), which looks like a blown charcoal or tone drawing. 
The sketchiness, hastiness, inaccuracy, and imperfection of particular 
portions prove, apart from the clearly recognisable strokes, that we 
have to do with a product of draughtsmanship, or something similar. 
A photographic reproduction from life would not show distortions, such 
as we see here. Male portraits in Figs. 136, 143, and 149 show the 
draughtsman's technique at the first glance, and corroborate the obser- 
vations made on the " Bisson " portrait. Only in one of the pictures 
(the phantom reproduced on Fig. 146) does the ground show a regular 
pattern resembling a textile fabric or linen. It is remarkable that this 
kind of artistic technique is much less marked in the female portraits 
than in the male portraits. If one were still inclined to doubt that 
these pictures were produced by some (mysterious ?) graphic method, 
we need only refer to the photograph in Fig. 119, where we find, on a 
horizontal strip, the printed words " Le Miroir." This example shows 
that both the letters and the features are produced by a hitherto unknown 
graphic technique. 

Criticism directed especially towards the consideration of the 
negative points could bring forward even more formidable objections, 
by pointing out the folded, furrowed, torn, and crumpled appearance 
of many of the products. This quality may be consistently traced 
through the majority of mediumistic creations. It is found not only 
in the flat pictorial representations, but also in the plastically developed 
fragments and masks, in the flat hand-shapes, and even in the unformed 
material emanations. That this peculiarity is not quite so regular as 
one might expect, is due to the frequent lack of definition in the photo- 
graphs themselves. Even if the cameras are focused on a particular 
point, the objects, during their short exposure and rapid motion, are 
often photographed at another place, which accounts for the lack of 
distinctness of many pictures. It is mostly in the faces that the torn 
and furrowed appearance is presented. That such furrows can traverse 
the length of the whole phantom is shown by an analysis of the photo- 



RETROSPECT 263 

graphic results of the 23rd February and 8th June 1913. In this con- 
nection one should examine the following illustrations : Figs. 64, 81, 88, 
89, 95, 97, 100, 101, 108, 109, 111, 113, 115, 123, 124, 125, 131, 136, 
138, 143, 149, and 159. 

The flat hand, lying on the medium's lap, photographed on the 
11th August 1911, shows round folds, while the finger projections, on 
other pictures, appear twisted and bent in. 

The creases are the more clearly marked the more the basis (paper ?) 
is consistent and flat. But the rents, fissures, and furrows occur even 
in the semi-soft, compact patches, resembling sculpture. The optical 
impression of a furrow or fold is sometimes produced by regularly 
shaped pieces stuck on (clearly seen in Fig. 149), and we even sometimes 
get the impression as if some faces had been composed like a mosaic of 
several pieces (Fig. 132). The strokes of the drawing are sometimes 
indistinguishable from fissures, and produce the same optical impression. 
The furrows and creases are almost always in geometrical form, 
usually parallel, crossed, and rectangular. Some pictures seem to be 
unfolded from a regularly folded packet. Out of the two pictures 
quoted as examples, we find on one side prominent creases, with partly- 
bent corners, which when produced in a straight line correspond to the 
furrows. 

These positive and negative parts, which fit together, are separated 
by a third furrow, crossing them at right angles in a vertical direction, 
as in the case of a sheet of paper folded double and square, and subse- 
quently unfolded. In Fig. 113 the same process is evident, so that a 
fold towards the outside and top is always matched by another towards 
the inside and downwards. Nothing can be said against the conclusion 
that we have here to deal with unfolded sheets showing traces of a 
geometrically arranged folding. 

In some portraits as, for instance, that in Fig. 149, we have lines at 
considerable distances, and we also find by suitable magnification of 
sorrie head pictures numerous small crumplings, proceeding like rays 
from a point, or irregularly, i.e., fine folds going outward and inward, 
as would be seen during the smoothing out of fabrics or papers, which 
have been crumpled into balls. It is all the more remarkable that such 
traces cannot be found on other portrait photographs by examining 
their enlargements with a high magnifying power or by studying the 
stereoscopic transparencies, i.e., in the female face of Fig. 122. 

In view of these observations, it may be taken for granted that 
portraits folded up and unfolded in the sittings, and consisting of a basis 
resembling cardboard or paper, are showTi in some of the sittings. The 
author was able to prepare a paper model from Fig. 136 and to fold it, 
in the folds shown in the photograph, in such a manner that the various 
folded portions fitted accurately together. 

To the negative character of facts of this kind we must add the 
proof that, in some of the sittings, images were attached to the curtain 
with pins, as described in detail in the reports of the Munich sittings. 

As early as 21st May 1912 fragments of faces and head images 
appeared at the left curtain, and at first were higher than Eva's head. 
A whole series of pictures, from May till August 1912, were exposed in 
Paris and Munich at about the same part of the curtain. Since in 



264 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

Munich we operated with a newly-prepared cabinet, it was easy to 
discover pin-holes, and they were regularly found at the places where 
the pictures were exposed by rolling up the curtain. A pin was found 
after the departure of the medium on the under side of the left arm-rest. 
Stanislava P. also, in one case, attached the end of a materialised veil sub- 
stance coming from her mouth very awkwardly to the curtain with a pin. 

The co-operation of the hands of the medium Eva C. was proved by the 
photographic record of 0th August 1912. The medium holds the mask- 
like head fragment with the left hand (to which she had, indeed, drawn 
attention herself in the sitting), and, in the place of her left hand, there 
is a mass of white substance on her lap. It is quite conceivable that, 
in the red light, this mass might have been misinterpreted and taken 
for the medium's left hand. Already, in the experiments at St Jean 
de Luz, on one occasion it had been proved photographically that a fiat 
white hand structure lay on her knee in the place of her right hand, 
while the latter held a piece of substance out of the curtain, but without 
any recognisable resemblance of the material with the medium's hand. 
Finally, at several sittings, the author observed the co-operation of the 
medium's hands, and noted this on each occasion in his records. 

As a result of this observation, a change in the experimental arrange- * 
ment was made in October 1912, so that from this time forward the 
medium's hands remained for the whole sitting outside the curtain, or 
at the curtain, visible and tangible. Yet the phenomena occurred as 
before, but the fixation of structures at the curtain was no longer 
observed. In some cases the pictures were attached to the medium's 
hair (Fig. 142), as when the female picture appeared at the sitting of 
30th November 1912 (with the exclusion of any manual co-operation 
by Eva's hands) on the medium's head. After it had been photographed; 
the author permitted the withdrawal of the hands behind the curtain 
for the rest of the sitting. Thereupon (Fig. 123) the same image appeared 
at the level of Eva's head, and suspended by a thread which itself was 
attached to a horizontal cord connecting the medium's hair with the 
curtain. A similar mode of fastening is shown in the picture of 
25th November 1911, in which a fairly broad, twisted band passes from 
Eva's head to the curtain. To this is suspended a cloth, showing several 
parallel creases, like a handkerchief folded and pressed and then unfolded. 
In both cases the fixation is obviously done with the help of the hands. 

Besides the leaning of the pictures against the head, other modes of 
attachment were observed. Thus, in some cases, the threads which 
hold the object seem to be stuck to the black satin of the curtain, or the 
back wall, with the help of the mysterious material. In any case, some 
white and fairly wide spots were found in these places, and show the 
same structure as those microscopically examined. 

It has also been suggested that some suspension arrangements, 
attached to the roof of the cabinet, might have been used for moving the 
images up and down, by means of fine threads attached to them. This 
would presuppose the attachment of nails, rings, and other apparatus 
to the roof of the cabinet, in the Paris and Munich seance rooms, 
i.e., some preparations before the sitting, but neither in Paris nor in 
Munich did Eva C. enter the seance room except during the sitting itself. 
The height of the cabinet in Paris was 9 feet, and in Munich 8| feet. 



RETROSPECT 265 

The medium would then have to get up on the chair (without attracting 
the attention of the sitters, sitting within a couple of feet of her), in 
order to attach some fitting to the roof of the cabinet during the sitting 
itself. In the first place, such a complicated manipulation could not be 
carried out at all without attracting attention. Secondly, some traces 
would remain in the cabinet ; and, thirdly, she would have to have the 
necessary tools about her, as well as the objects serving for the repre- 
sentations of the phenomena, in spite of the initial and final examination ; 
and, finally, the two or three cameras in the cabinet, and perhaps also 
those in front of the curtain, would show on the negatives such threads 
connected with the images. Even if they could not be seen on simple 
prints, the sharply defined stereoscopic images on glass, and the enlarge- 
ment of the original negatives, must have revealed this mechanism of 
fraud. The author maintains that in the arrangement adopted in the 
sittings such coarse manceuvres could not possibly have escaped discovery. 

As regards the activity of the medium's hands during production of 
the phenomena, it is proved, by the author's repeated observations, and 
also objectively by photography, that Eva C. used her hands in various 
cases to expose the objects already produced in a manner most favourable 
to the observer, to fix them to her head, to the curtain or to the back wall ; 
in short, to improve the materialisation phenomena. The use of a pin, 
or of the medium's own hand, in place of which a flat hand-formation 
or a white strip of substance was laid down, may be interpreted as 
attempts at the fraudulent representation of non-existent things, 
although we must also take into account the medium's undoubted 
hypnotic condition, and her wish to intensify the optical impressions on 
the observers. Under such circumstances we cannot be surprised that 
the disappearance of the medium's hands behind the curtain was often 
objected to by the observers, and we are probably not wrong in assuming 
that, in many cases, the hands played a part in the arrangement of 
heads, in their distribution and position, without being discovered. On 
the other hand, the suggestion that the artistic products, such as hands, 
face forms, masks, and drawings had been formed, during the sitting 
itself, Avith the help of the hands, is excluded by the extremely com- 
plicated character of the artistic representations. 

It has also been repeatedly alleged that objects concealed in the 
orifices of the body (small packets, etc.), had been brought out by hand 
in the dark, unfolded, and then exposed as phenomena. 

A very natural suggestion which, however, cannot be maintained on 
account of the careful initial, and final, examination of the medium, the 
variability, size, and character of the objects in question, and also 
because when the help of the hands was excluded by new experimental 
arrangements (hands held by the observers, or visibility of the hands in 
front of the curtain during the whole sitting), the same phenomena 
occurred as before. Finally, the disposal, packing up, and concealment 
of the objects used would meet with unsurmountable difficulties, especi- 
ally if we take into account the time and circumstances in which these 
manipulations would have to take place, i.e., sometimes in one second. 

The four years' observations give no support whatever to the 
suggestion that the hands played any part at all in the real genesis and 
disappearance of the phenomena, though they may have had a part 



266 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

in the arrangement and the disposal of the objects and images, once 
they were mediumistically produced. 

As is shown by several photographic records, and by several observa- 
tions, especially during the first part of the sittings, Eva C. exposed her 
head and body, clad in materials and veils, to the red light on several 
occasions, apparently with the object of producing on the observers the 
impression of a phantom. The somnambulist, in this case, used 
materials mediumistically produced, and acted in good faith, in this 
sense, that the genesis and disappearance of these materials in these 
sittings constituted the phenomenon in question, as may be clearly seen 
from the records. 

She never spoke during these representations, nor did she show any 
action pointing towards dramatic representation of any type of person- 
ality. If, therefore, we assume and admit that nothing but mediumis- 
tically produced materials were exhibited on the medium's body, we 
can hardly speak of a fraudulent intention in the hypnotic condition, 
but simply of a wish of the medium to drape herself, and to produce, 
in the form of a " transfiguration," an impressive demonstration of her 
power. But whatever we may think of this, the consciousness of fraud 
was absent in her state of deep trance. If, in this case, observers with 
spiritistic tendencies had regarded the masked medium as a " spirit," 
the sitters alone were responsible for this error, and not the instinctively 
acting medium herself. That this transition stage of transfiguration is 
observed in nearly all materialisations has already been mentioned in 
the introduction. 

After a study of the pictures and the records, one might also raise 
the objection that on several occasions the same images, types and 
objects were exhibited by the medium in various sittings, and one might 
conclude that such objects were permanently in existence. But a 
detailed examination of the material points to other conclusions, for in 
no case could the identity of type be proved in the case of several 
appearances, separated by intervals of time. This we recognised in the 
male face photographed by Bourdet on 11th September 1911, the struc- 
ture resembling a death-mask, which was photographed by the author on 
5th November 1911. But while Bourdet's negative shows a flat develop- 
ment, the author's photographs show an incomplete, distinctly modelled, 
and therefore plastically formed, face, although there could be no doubt 
that the same model was used for the two kinds of artistic representation. 

The same observation applies to that group of female heads desig- 
nated by the medium as " Berthe." In this connection one should 
examine the pictures of 30th December 1911 and 7th June 1912 (Figs. 60 
and 64). In spite of their great similarity, which again suggests different 
works after the same model, or after the same memory image, the 
photographed objects are really different, as is shown by a comparative 
study. Even the head pictures, taken at the same sitting, at an interval 
of from five to seven minutes, show distinct differences in development, 
in the opening of the eyes and in the facial expression, quite apart from 
the change in the decorative arrangements. In the portraits of the 
type " Bisson " at various ages, we have on the 1st June quite a different 
front view from that of the 21st June 1912, in which the left supraorbital 
region appears modelled, whereas the Munich negatives (Figs. 100 and 



' RETROSPECT 267 

101), in half profile, only show a faint resemblance to the original. In 
the portrait produced on the 6th March 1913 one finds certain features 
in the build of the forehead, in the eyes, and in the cut of the full beard, 
which make it a matter for discussion whether this creation was inspired 
by the original model or not. It appears impossible to attain such 
different effects with a single picture model, made for fraudulent 
purposes. 

In the torn female profile, photographed by Mme. Bisson on 30th 
December 1912 (Fig. 125), we undoubtedly find the same features as in 
the author's photograph of 10th September 1912 (Fig. 115). The lines 
of the forehead and mouth are the same in both cases, though the 
projection of the nose appears somewhat longer on the 30th December 
1912 ; but in Fig. 125 the limit of the hair is quite different, quite apart 
from the doubling or the unjustifiable prolongation of the whole structure 
downwards, which is absent in Fig. 115. We have again the same pro- 
cess. The similarities in the profile, in the gaze, and in the whole 
arrangement, point back towards the same origmal, but surely one 
could not, by using the objects shown in Fig. 115, produce a picture 
looking like Fig. 125. 

The differences in the four photographs of the phantom have already 
been sufficiently pointed out in the records of the sittings. The greatest 
resemblance is between the two appearances photographed on 23rd 
February and 19th May 1913. But the mere comparison of the 
left eye in the two pictures shows considerable differences in the more 
oval form, the high light and the appearance of the pupil on Fig. 157. 
Besides, the face (the upper part of which stands out in relief) and the 
whole build of the body seem to be broader in the phantom photo- 
graphed by the author in May 1913 than in that photographed by 
Mme. Bisson in February. With the same model one could not have 
produced four such different pictures, whereas in four different sittings 
the same personification was always produced, with differences resem- 
bling differences of memory. 

From these examples, which could easily be multiplied, it is evident 
that the repeated use of the same originals for the production of the 
phenomena, as far as we can judge from the photographs, is out of the 
question. 

A further ground for suspicion might be found in the repeatedly 
observed noises (like the rustling of silk or rubbed paper), and also the 
diversion of the attention from the activity of the medium, by the 
conversation of the sitters desired by Eva. 

The first-named occurrence was often observed, while the medium's 
hands were excluded from participation, by the experimental arrange- 
ment. It is therefore independent of Eva's manual assistance, and must 
be regarded as a subsidiary accompaniment of the phenomena. 

As regards the diversion of the attention, one must remember the 
common experience that a too intense concentration of attention on 
the medium herself may hinder her activity. Possibly there is here a 
remnant of spiritistic tradition which should be eliminated. As 
against this objection, the author may point out a large number of 
phenomena set dowTi in the records, which took place, from beginning 
to end, before the eyes of the sitters, i.e., under rigid control. In any 



268 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

case, talking does not hinder the concentration of the attention upon 
the mediumistic processes, but might contribute to exercise a soothing 
influence upon the excited nervous system of the producing medium. 

Among the most frequent objections to materiahsation phenomena, 
such as those described in the present work, we have the assertion that 
the medium fraudulently uses prepared artificial sheets covered with 
pictorial representations and pressed into an infinitesimal volume, these 
sheets consisting of the finest veiling or of shagreened Japanese paper. 
Such products, according to this view, can be compressed to the size of 
a pea, and can be so hidden about the body that even a rigorous initial 
and final examination is unable to discover them. 

In order to examine the technical possibility of such a trick, the 
author procured from the largest Berlin firm for this branch of industry 
a yard of the finest obtainable chiffon veiling and a yard of the finest 
silk veiling, and through another big firm samples of the thinnest existing 
sorts of paper {e.g., grey Japanese paper prepared from rags without 
chlorine, etc.), and made several test experiments with these. 

As regards the compression of such veiling having an area of one 
square yard, the smallest circumference within which such a packet can 
be compressed is 6 inches. That corresponds to about the size of a 
small apple. But even by using smaller quantities, we should, in any 
case, get the size of a walnut. Pellets the size of a pea, on the other 
hand, are much too small to yield sufficient material for the average 
size of the phenomena. 

Now, packets of this size, and of even smaller volume, would 
certainly have been discovered during the initial or final control. And, 
further, none of these substances are sufficiently consistent to allow 
themselves to be sufficiently smoothed out and put up like disks, as, for 
instance, the head image (Fig. 120). Finally the traces of crumpling are, 
as a rule, different from the traces shown on Fig. 149. In particular, a 
fairly thick paper would have been required for the image shown on 
Fig. 120. While some of the pictures show an extremely fine basis, 
which suggests the use of fine material, others, as sho^\Ti by the photo- 
graphs from behind and above, arc very voluminous, and have a 
distinct thickness {see Fig. 93). The materials used for a portion of 
the drapery of the Bisson portrait have a thickness of 4 or 5 inches. 
Fine paper and veiling materials are so transparent that this quality 
would immediately be evident on the negative. One may compare the 
veil photographs of the Polish medium Stanislava P. in this connection. 
Finally, it may be doubted whether graphic sketches of heads, on such 
material, are even approximately similar to the appearance of the 
portraits reproduced. And there is no doubt that the enlarged negatives 
of the veiling would show the regular structure of the woven, or hand- 
worked, pattern. In silk veils this pattern is square. The direction of 
the threads would have been apparent, in any case. In the same way 
the characteristic structure of the wood fibre would be evident in the 
case of paper. The appearance of a whole series of phantoms, the 
sculptural modelling of mask-like heads, and of more massive com- 
positions, could not be explained by this hypothesis, which only applies 
to a small number of photographs. Only in a single case, viz., in the 
second phantom photograph by Mme. Bisson, of 24th March 1913, does 



RETROSPECT 269 

the fabric show a regular pattern comparable with fairly coarse canvas. 
It is certain that the substance was neither silk nor paper. 

Concerning the suggested swallowing and bringing up of such 
packets by a sort of rumination, all that is necessary has already been said 
at the end of the report of the Munich sittings. The enclosing of the 
head in a veil, as practised later, also refutes this assumption (Fig. 154). 

The hypothesis of the fraudulent use of paper, or veiling, cannot be 
maintained, if we take into account the whole of the photographic 
material reproduced in this work. But the fact remains that in some 
of the pictures there is a distinct similarity of the material basis of the 
production to veiling materials, paper and canvas. 

Even if there is an appearance of fraud, the assumption of its actual 
existence is not necessarily justified. The author may here refer to his 
arguments used in discussing the phenomena of Linda Gazerra, in which 
he said : "If we see before us some materialisation product like the 
shape of a white flat hand, the picture of a head, or white materials, 
we are obliged, by instinctive association, to think of analogous pictures 
from the world of our o\\^i experience. The white hand shows an 
unmistakable similarity with a shape cut out of paper, the portrait-like 
character of the head reminds us of an enlarged photograph, and the 
material fabric recalls the idea of veiling or finest Indian silk. 

"No doubt one could produce similar impressions with the help of 
such objects. But, on the other hand, the mysterious character of the 
psycho-dynamic phenomena consists just in the variety of possibilities 
and causal actions, so that they can produce upon us visual impressions, 
which have the greatest similarity with things from the world as we 
know it. The unknown force, of a possibly psychic origin, as soon as 
it wishes to present or materialise things for our senses, uses a picture 
language known to us in order to be at all intelligible. Any one who 
has had the opportunity, as the author had with Eva C, to observe with 
what unheard-of facility, in contrast with ordinary physics and biolog}', 
materialised fabrics and structures alter their condition, form and 
character, when the mediumistic power is at all great ; how they 
disappear in the fraction of a second, i.e., cease to be optically percep- 
tible to us, will sureh* not be surprised to find, in the photographic 
rendering of teleplastic products, many similarities to kno^Mi forms, 
besides some really surprising and apparently novel products. 

•' The suspicious appearance of a medium.istic photograph is not suffi- 
cient proof of production by fraudulent manoeuvres, and, generally speak- 
ing, the whole use of the photographic art has no significance except in 
conjunction with an accurate record of the experimental conditions." 

If the play of a natural law, unknown to us, consisted in presenting 
to us optical images which are sometimes flat, sometimes plastic, some- 
times coarse, and sometimes equipped with the finest detail ; having 
all the appearances of life on one occasion, and none of these on another 
occasion, we should have to accommodate ourselves to the fact, however 
strange it might appear in a given case. So long as the effective forces 
are entirely unknown to us, as they are to-day, we have no right to 
reject any phenomenon simply because its flat appearance, or its 
similarity with veiling, paper, or canvas does not agree with the assump- 
tions of our usual thought, that is to say, with our preconceived opinion. 



270 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

If we disregard these considerations, as well as the contents of the 
records, and the most careful control, we must admit that the purely 
objective consideration of a number of the pictures reproduced indicates 
fraud, particularly the flat appearance of many of the photographs 
which appear cut out, the canvas or paper-like consistency of the basis 
in some cases, the hand-shapes looking as if they were cut out, the 
regular foldings and creases on numerous images, the occurrence of 
cords, loops and threads or shreds of material, recalling spread hand- 
kerchiefs, the pictorial, or graphic, character of the documents (such as 
the printing on Fig. 119), and the amateurish and sketchy treatment 
of some of them. 

The counter proof to these considerations is given by the mode of 
production of the photographs (simultaneous exposures on five to seven 
cameras, within and without the cabinet), by the rigorous initial and 
final examinations, by the dress of the medium, by the sittings with 
the nude medium, by the occurrence of curious forms and fragments 
which cannot easily be produced by commercially obtainable figures, by 
the numerous plastic products, by the artistic character of certain 
portraits, which cannot be imitated in this way, by the repeated photo- 
graphy of features of deceased persons recognised by their families, by 
the growth and recession of the teleplastic phenomena, by their move- 
ments, proved evidentially through the sense organs {e.g., materialised 
hands which make touches or grasp objects, etc.), by the lightning-like 
appearance and disappearance of the phenomena, while the medium's 
body is visible and motionless, and, finally, by a class of phenomena 
which cannot at all be imitated artificially, as, for instance, the creation 
of an amorphous, living and moving substance, leaving a residue of 
decomposition products of organised matter, and the penetration of 
the substance produced through textile fabrics and veils {see Figs. 152 
and 153). To this we must add the progressive development, advancing 
from simple to complex performances, the elementary character of the 
forms and phenomena, and the consideration that a fraud, which would 
require at least a laboratory for producing the most varied assortment 
of pictures and utensils, and would presuppose the use of considerable 
sums of money for procuring them, could hardly have been practised 
for four years, in spite of the constantly varying and continuously 
intensified precautions and photographic methods, and could not have 
been carried out without the slightest failure, in the face of the acumen 
of numerous learned observers. Also, the improvised character of the 
momentary teleplastic creations speaks against a prepared manipulation 
of artistic illustrations, masks and similar objects, whose exposure on 
the negatives would have produced quite different pictures, and would 
have been easily recognised. 

Finally, we must take exception to the comparison of our obser- 
vations with the results of conjuring. Neither the twenty-six-year-old 
Eva C, nor the twenty-year-old Stanislava P., have any relation to 
that art, which surely requires thorough instruction and practice. The 
whole life of these two girls, their course of education, and their interests 
are known, and are clearly accessible to the observer. Every conjuror 
requires the use of his hands, but a very large number of phenomena, 
especially with Eva C, occurred after the use of her hands had been 



ARTISTIC AND TECHNICAL OPINIONS. 271 

eliminated, as they were either held by the observers during the pheno- 
mena, or remained visible grasping the curtain. 

Such objections are madmissible so long as nobody has succeeded 
in producing the same performances, under strictly equal experimental 
conditions, by conjuring, for which one would have to offer very high 
remuneration. 

When, in the end, all the objections applying to the medium's 
person are exhausted, so that the appearances cannot be explained by 
reference to the medium alone, common sense, driven into a comer, 
always has recourse to the theory of accomplices. Servants and persons 
not taking part in the sittings are excluded at once by the conditions 
(repeated change of abode and locality). In the sittings with Eva C, 
as already mentioned, suspicion used to centre on her protectress, 
Mme. Bisson. Now, as already pointed out, the phenomena are not 
conditioned by her presence ; they had already occurred for four years 
with Eva, before INIme. Bisson made her acquaintance. Besides, this 
question has been examined, in Munich and Paris, by critical savants, 
during the sittings themselves, and they decided that there was no 
justification for any suspicion directed against the lady in question. 
Finally, in the case of the Polish medium Stanislava P., some of the 
phenomena were produced, as in the case of Eva C, although the two 
mediums were not acquainted with each other, and have nothing in 
common. Therefore the hypothesis of accomplices is also untenable. 
Whether the counter arguments enumerated in this chapter are strong 
enough to exclude the possibility of fraud, as the author considers they 
are, the reader must decide for himself. 

Undoubtedly; in a question of such importance as is represented by 
the problem of mediumistic materialisation, all objections are justifiable, 
and every conceivable precaution is necessary to exclude every possi- 
bility of production, except that by mediumistic power. 

ARTISTIC AND TECHNICAL OPINIONS. 

Professor Albert von Keller, several of whose works relate to 
occult and mediumistic problems {e.g.. The Awakening of Jairus' 
Daughter, The SomnambulUt, The Witch's Sleej), A Portrait of Eusapia 
Paladino, Studies of the Dream Dancer, Madeleine G., and other pic- 
tures), kindly placed the following expert opinion on the artistic 
significance of the photographs published in this book, at the author's 
disposal : — 

" The pictures comprised in the first group (Figs. 27, 31, 45, 72, 74, 
75, 77, and 78), which all show a white material about the body of the 
medium, sketchy, flat hand-forms, or more or less developed finger 
fragments, seem to me to give some information concerning the entirely 
elementary character of the formative material. The substance itself 
gives the impression of a fluctuating natural creation of an entirely 
organic character, but, in spite of this, it is not without a certain grandeur 
of design. 

" Aju interesting example of this fact is shown by Fig. 148, for, 
apart from the plastic development of the finely-drawn finger, it 
shows a character in the ribbon of material holding it, such as it would 



272 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

be impossible to produce on the loom. The remarkable lines of this 
shred-like substance remind me of the play of forms in cast lead. On 
Fig. 133 the two finger fragments on the hair surprise us by their fine 
plastic anatomy. 

" In the face and head fragments (Group II.) I see a strong develop- 
ment of the artistic impulse towards the production of the forms in 
question. The front view of the image produced on 1st November 1911 
(Figs. 47 and 48) resembles the head of an ape, but the full profile 
already assumes the aspect of a human face and is plastically developed. 

" The same plastic development in low relief is shown by all the 
photographs of this group (Figs. 49, 50, 51, 73, 76, 79 and 80). In 
Figs. 82 and 83 the formative process, evidently in the course of forming 
a head, seems to have been interrupted by the photographic exposure. 

" The condition of the material in this group is yielding, soft, and 
fluctuating. It never shows a paper-like character, and shows that the 
veil materials are formed from it, as are the face forms. This transition 
is clearly seen in Figs. 82 and 83. 

" The climax of artistic completion is shown in some female heads of 
the next group. Thus the creation shown in Fig. 56 is of unsurpassed 
beauty in form, drawing and composition, such as only the work of a 
,master can show. We have, in these remarkable performances (especi- 
ally in Figs. 55, 56, 60, 61, 62 and 63), the direct impression of life, 
seen through the temperament of a great artist. Fig. 62 is remarkable 
for its classic profile and for the admirably successful expression. 

" The plastic modelling is proved by the differences in the photo- 
graphs from various points of view. This applies particularly to the 
photographs in Figs. 55 and 56. The fluctuating condition of the 
ground substance, and its capacity for development, are shown by the 
remarkable change in expression, and in the position of the head, on 
comparing several photographs taken of the same object within a few 
minutes of each other. 

" In my opinion, we have to deal with several stages of development. 
The impression of perfect plastic development is also made by the 
charming female face of Fig. 94, which reaches the same level of beauty. 
The unity of style in this group of heads (particularly those in Figs. 55, 
56, and 94, and the female head photographed by Mme, Bisson, Figs. 90 
and 91) indicates that the same artistic individuality has created all 
these products. Sometimes the same type seems to be intended, 
although the differences are too great for identification. 

" Perhaps we have to deal with several attempts to render the same 
model, which each time is interpreted differently. As the terrestrial 
artist is constantly engaged in struggling with his material, so in this 
case there are many indications of great difficulties in the treatment of 
the teleplastic material. 

" The reproductions in Figs. 103 to 108, 115, 116, and 120 to 123, do not 
attain the same artistic level as those above mentioned. They are flat and 
pictorial, and evidently the products of reminiscences of pictures. But, 
even in these, the intensity of expression is well marked, and governs 
the design. Great artistic force is shown by Figs. 115 and 122. 

" The male portraits in Figs. 95, 136, 140, 142 and 143 indicate an 
unusual artistic intelligence, and show technical refuiements of drawing 



ARTISTIC AND TECHNICAL OPINIONS 273 

such as can only be executed by great artists. This is specially notice- 
able in Fig. 149. As regards the extraordinarily remarkable appear- 
ances on the naked body of the medium (Figs. 127, 129 and 135), 
these are evidently elementary chance products of nature having an 
organic character. I do not know of any substance, produced mechanic- 
ally, or manually, with which similar forms could be made. They give 
a convincing impression of natural creations, generated in a mysterious 
manner. 

" On comparing Figs. 135 and 148, the equality and agreement in the 
elementary form, which is also found in other pictures, is very evident. 
It shows that, again and again, the same mysterious creative process is in 
operation, which follows its own laws, and is indicated by a distinct style. 

" The forms of this group are otherwise only found in the vegetable or 
mineral kingdoms, in sea-weed, in trees, in lava, in molten metal, and in 
living organisms. Such lines do not occur in artificial or artistic products. 
They are the peculiarities of the spontaneous creations of nature. 

" To say another word about the four phantom pictures, I can only 
corroborate that the four representations of the same type show quite 
notable differences, and cannot, therefore, be produced from the same 
model. The high lights on the eyes in Figs. 157 and 159 do not look 
drawn, but look like real high lights, although, otherwise, these whole 
figures do look like drawings. 

" To sum up my own judgment, it appears to me that the uniform 
elementary character of the material, as seen in so many pictures, both 
formed and unformed, seems to indicate that creations of such a remark- 
able kind cannot be produced artificially by fraud. In this case, the 
fluctuating condition of the fundamental substance, its stages of develop- 
ment, and the soft rounding of the portraits, which is also seen in 
several sketches, can hardly be imitated. The artistic performances, 
seen in Eva's productions, are of very various levels, from the highest 
artistic power dowm to an amateurish awkwardness. Certain head 
formations are so convincing, by their originality and their mysterious 
composition, that they cannot be compared with the works of human 
technique, and seem to be elementary natural creations of chance." 

Herr Fritz Miiller, INIanager of the Graphic Art Works of Hambock; 
by whom the whole of the reproductions for this work were carried out, 
is well qualified to express a technical opinion, by his long experience 
in the subject of photo-chemistry and methods of reproduction, as well 
as his preparation of the photographic originals in this book for auto- 
type. His opinion is as follows : — 

" According to your wish, I certify with pleasure that the photo- 
graphic negatives of the present work were obtained in a manner 
technically free from objection, that is to say, the negatives were taken 
at one exposure, without subsequent illumination, or any kind of 
manipulation. The photographic copies have not been retouched or 
subjected to any other manual treatment, as I have had occasion to 
observe in preparing the blocks for the photographs. 

" The appearance presented by the photographs lacks all charac- 
teristics denoting paper or fabrics prepared manually or mechanically. 
The masses rather resemble vegetable and animal forms. That some 
of the appearances are plastically developed is clearly seen from the 
^"' s 



274 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

photographs, taken from the right, or left, and from in front. The 
mass itself seems fluctuating and easily changeable in its form, for photo- 
graphs taken in short succession show differences of outline. What the 
mass consists of, I cannot say, since I have not come across similar 
materials in my practice. 

" A peculiarity lies also in the transition between the material and 
the plastic forms. The latter must be in relief because, when the light 
falls from the left, the shadows, both of the medium's head and of the 
phenomena, are on the right, but another portion of the forms repre- 
sented gives an impression of flat drawn sketches. If these were art 
publications previously existmg, and arranged in the sitting for photo- 
graphic exposure, there would be some indications of the direction of 
the illumination in which the originals were produced, and these would 
probably be in contradiction to the direction of the illumination in the 
sitting ; but in the material submitted no such contradiction can be 
traced. Besides, the remarkable softness and roundmg of a large 
portion of the products speaks against the use of sketches or enlarged 
photographs, which would come out much harder on negatives, and are 
easily recognised in other ways. 

" I should also like to point out that the basis of one of the phantom 
pictures shows the characteristics of canvas, and that the high lights 
in the eyes are, in some of the photographs, real — that is to say, not 
drawn. I do not consider myself competent to judge of the artistic 
technique expressed in the pictures or the frequent fissures and folds." 



METHOD OF OBSERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT 
OF TELEPLASTIC STRUCTURES. 

The occurrences observed with Eva C. during a period of four years 
all belong to the same class. 

They always consisted of the appearance of definite material aggre- 
gates, substances, forms and objects, under various experimental con- 
ditions which were arranged with the object of excluding conscious, or 
unconscious, fraudulent co-operation by the medium, and also designed 
to assist the production of the phenomena by providing the milieu 
found by experience to be required (cabinet and red light). In order to 
record the extremely fugitive, visible effects of the psycho-dynamic 
processes, whose nature is still quite unknown, in a manner independent 
of the testimony of the senses, photography was used as freely as 
possible. In the first year, 1909, the arrangements for flash-light 
photographs were so imperfect that only a small number of exposures 
were successful. In order to fill up this gap several situations observed 
were drawn by the painter Gampenrieder. At the end of the fourth 
year seven to nine cameras, inside and outside the cabinet, were ready 
to record the results of the materialisation process from all sides. This 
procedure itself excluded any manipulation with prepared plates. The 
author himself inserted the plates, selected the moment for igniting the 
flash-light, and usually only photographed that which had been pre- 
viously seen. The development of the negatives was carried out in his 
presence. No retouchings, corrections, or changes have been made. 



DEVELOPMENT OF TELEPLASTIC STRUCTURES 275 

with the exception of the photographs taken with the naked medium, 
where the sex characteristics were obhterated, as the medium had 
made this a condition for her permission to pubhsh them. The assump- 
tion of hallucination is entirely disposed of by the photographic plates, 
and the latter afford a valuable corroboration of visual impressions. 
During the whole period not a single sitting was held in the dark, and 
the red light was strengthened more and more until, in July 1912, six 
lamps, totalling one hundred candle-power, illuminated the room. 

The greatest care was taken throughout to have a thorough initial and 
final examination of the medium. This included a search extending over 
the whole skin, and sometimes into all the bodily orifices. Eva's cos- 
tume in the sittings consisted of knitted tights, with an apron tunic 
closed down the back. Before each sitting Mme. Bisson sewed up the 
back, the wrists, and the junction of the tights with the dress. In 
May 1913 Eva, at the desire of the Paris physicians, put on a tricot in 
one piece, closing only down the back, and her head was also covered 
M'ith a veil, sewn on to the neck. 

Not one of the observers, during these four years, has ever found on 
the medium's body, or in the seance costume, anything which could 
have been used for the fraudulent production of the phenomena. The 
importance of this negative result can hardly be emphasised too strongly. 
The author was a witness to the thorough performance of this task on 
no less than 180 occasions. The honesty of the medium is therefore not 
a 'probability, but a certainty placed beyond all question. She has never 
introduced any objects into the cabinet with which she could have 
fraudulently represented the teleplastic products. 

The various seance rooms, in different houses, had no secret passages 
or trap-doors, and were regularly examined, both before and after 
every sitting, by the savants who took part in the sittings. The seance 
room was locked so that no servants had access to it. The number of 
sitters, at first rather large, was reduced more and more, so that during 
the last years it was only rarely that more than four persons were 
present. Many important sittings took place in the presence of 
Mme. Bisson and the author only. 

During the last years the phenomena could often be illuminated by 
the sitters with red or white electric torches. In some sittings the 
curtains were not closed at all, and the phenomena were often observed 
from beginning to end, while the medium's body was motionless and 
visible. There were also a large number of sittings with the naked 
medium, only attended by Mme. Bisson, and two attended by the 
author. 

On reviewing the experimental arrangements and records, one must 
admit that everything was done, that was within the power of the 
observers, to exclude fraud and self-deception. But it may be objected 
that nobody made an attempt to grasp the material and solve the 
question by force. In answer to this, it must be stated that such an 
attempted exposure, made at Munich, was a failure. The phantom on 
the left of the medium disappeared entirely. Dr Kafka did not succeed 
in grasping the brown or grey piece of substance on the left of the 
medium's neck. The only consequences were some profound fainting 
fits, several days of illness, and an instinctive timidity of the medium, 



276 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

which lasted for six months, and had a very unfavourable effect on the 
sittings. On a few occasions Mme. Bisson did grasp some of the 
materialisation, but it dissolved in her hand, while the attempt to grasp 
it produced violent pains in the medium. In the sitting of 15th Novem- 
ber 1910, the author grasped a piece of material which had given a blow 
on his right hand, but the mass wriggled out of his hand like a snake, 
while Eva screamed with pain. If we also take into account that the 
phenomena often appeared with lightning-like rapidity, and might 
disappear in the fraction of a second, we must reckon with the fact 
that these transitory structures do not hold out under our physical 
contact, and that the suggested procedure, while yielding no success to 
the observer, has grave consequences for the medium. In any case, 
the material does not seem to withstand the light, but appears to liquefy 
very easily, or even to evaporate. Many experiments in this direction 
gave material in a liquid state or in the form of residues on the medium's 
dress, which contained cell detritus. The few cases in which more 
permanent material was obtained (hair, etc.) are too isolated to affect 
the general conclusion. 

Assuming the actuality of the phenomena, we may next endeavour 
to describe their evolution. The first stage is the appearance of a 
mobile substance, near the body of the medium. We may call it the 
stage of teleplastic evolution. The substance appears diffuse and cloudy, 
like a fine smoke of white or grey colour. On further condensation it 
becomes Avhite, and transforms itself into amorphous coagulated masses 
or packets, or assumes the structure of the finest web-like filmy veils, 
which may develop into compact organic fabrics or conglomerates. 
Sometimes the veil-like forms are doubled at the margin, so that the 
first impression is that of a stitched hem. The veils never show the 
characteristic square thread-work of real veils. There is something 
inconstant and irregular in all these formations, and sometimes the 
morphological structure is different in the centre and at the rims. 
All observers, who have touched this filmy grey substance with their 
hands, agree in describing it as cool, sticky, and rather heavy, as well 
as endowed with a motion of its own. The sensation may be compared 
with that produced on the skin by a living reptile. 

The existence of this material with the properties described has 
lately been proved to be the primordial phenomenon for telekinetic 
processes (raps, levitations, etc.) by the British investigator, Dr W. J. 
Crawford, of Belfast, who felt the substance on the occasion of the 
levitation of a table, which he traced to an invisible lever proceeding 
from a point near the medium's feet towards the under surface of the 
table. He says that the material felt cold, sticky, and like the skin of 
a reptile. This indicates that the material foundation of the telekinetic 
phenomena is the same as that of the teleplastic phenomena, only with 
the difference that in telekinetics it is not yet condensed into visibility, 
and therefore represents a preliminary grade of the aggregate used in 
teleplastics. Crawford finds, in this organic matter, a thread-like 
structure, which is usually invisible, but is capable of carrying out 
motions of its own and of becoming the conductor of psychic impulses. 
I have also succeeded, in the case of the free levitation of a small object, 
by the approach of the hands (with the Polish medium Stanislava 



DEVELOPMENT OF TELEPLASTIC STRUCTURES 277 

Toniczyk), in photographing such invisible threads on stereoscopic 
pictures, an experiment which was first performed in Warsaw by 
Ochorowicz. The magnification of the thread images shows an organic 
structure, and the absence of all marks of the loom. 

The teleplastic substances condensed into the filmy veil show 
elasticity, like that of rubber, and change their volume, length, and 
shape while the medium is motionless. The pieces look like torn shreds 
of fabrics, or like ribbons, strings, or long fibres, or again like low 
organisms. They are usually connected with the medium's head by a 
long extensible cord. The mass seems to pass freely through the lighter 
materials of the dress, penetrating them, perhaps, in a vaporous form, 
and subsequent!}^ condensing in the form of grey flakes. 

In the next stage, that of development or evolution, the teleplastic 
substance grows before the eyes of the sitters, and sometimes in a very 
short time (ten to forty seconds). We could even watch the process of 
growth. At first a reddish spot, the size of a pea, was seen on the dress, 
which grew into a strip about 46 inches long, or into some other more 
compact form, while the medium's body remained at rest. When this 
growth took place on the dress, no visible connection with the body 
could be perceived. We also succeeded on various occasions in watching 
the evolution from the mouth. It was always accompanied by a very 
intensive co-operation of the respiratory organs of the medium. The 
substance has first the appearance of smoke, and streams from the mouth 
with strong expirations, afterwards assuming a vaporous, or veil-like, 
appearance. The impression would be the same if the medium were to 
blow the finest muslin veiling out of her mouth. On 17th May 1910 
the author observed this process fairly accurately while kneeling beside 
the medium in the cabinet. The exhaled mass is very light. It seems 
at first to float in the air, and only sinks gradually while it condenses. 
On touching it the finger has the impression of destroying a spider's 
web. Similar observations were made in the case of Stanislava P. {see 
Fig. 170). 

The material produced by Eva C. shows movements of various 
kinds. After separation from the body, these movements may become 
independent. Such independent motion was observed by two 
observers on the medium's naked body. The movements are slowly 
undulating, sometimes in zigzag, or in wavy lines, comparable with the 
creeping of a snake, or the progress of a jelly-like material, over a flat 
surface. 

The stage of recession, or involution, often takes the form of a sudden 
jerk towards the body of the medium, which reabsorbs the substance. 
This could never be observed in detail, on account of its rapidity. 

The recession can also take the form of a simple optical disappear- 
ance. This may happen in the fraction of a second, and leaves no 
trace anywhere about the medium or the cabinet. Such disappearances 
often took place when the medium was frightened, when the flash-light 
was turned on, or after unexpected noises, like the fire-alarm of 25th 
November 1909. 

The reappearances of such objects were often as sudden as the 
disappearances, as was shoAvn by numerous examples. The stage of 
teleplastic metamorphosis is just as mysterious as the simple move- 



278 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

merits. We have here the production of distinct parts, from a uniform 
formative substance. The flat white viscous material, visible to the 
eye, puts forth excrescences and projections of an elementary character, 
resembling leaves. This process is not, indeed, more wonderful than 
the replacement of the head of an annelid worm, after it has been 
twelve times cut off, or the new formations in planarians, crustaceans, 
and salamanders. In order to indicate their peculiar character, they 
are called " pseudopods " in the records. Besides these projections, we 
also find more differentiated forms, like sketchy fingers and hands. 
Finally, there are quite a number of hand-shapes, shown in the collection 
of photographs, which seem white and flat, as if cut out of paper. But 
the examination of enlarged photographs of these very suspicious-looking 
forms has never revealed the characteristic structure of paper, or of 
wood-fibre products, but show a granular ground substance. The use 
of paper for these forms is therefore excluded. Besides, in some of the 
negatives, this substance gives the impression of being semi-liquid and 
soft, as it sinks in and adapts itself to its support. {See Photograph, 
11th August 1911.) 

These sketchy hands, lacking all external detail, also grow without 
any connection with the primitive teleplasm, lie on the medium's 
shoulder, on her head, under a heap of veiling, etc., and disappear as 
spontaneously as they are formed. In one case, the author watched 
such a formation on the medium's shoulder quite closely, and timed it. 
It disappeared after exactly forty seconds. 

The results recorded in this work concerning teleplastic hand-shapes 
are corroborated by the experience of other authors. Thus, Crookes 
speaks of hand-forms condensed from clouds. With the medium 
Carancini a whole flat hand was photographed. We also find in the 
work of Imoda, among very convincing hand-shapes, a number of 
flat, glove-like, and undeveloped formations of this kind. Finally, 
Delanne, who has much experience in this subject, mentions that these 
fluidic hands often give the impression of inflated gloves : " The hands 
and fingers do not always appear solid as in living people, sometimes 
they resemble a cloud, which has been partly condensed into a hand." 

The same white sketchy hand-forms were seen with the Polish 
medium Stanislava P. (Fig. 172). The author endeavoured to imitate 
this class of phenomena with the help of white gloves, but the pictures 
looked quite different, and do not contribute anything to the elucidation 
of this problem. 

But not only rough forms of hands, lacking all elements of life, were 
seen, but sometimes the external contours of arms and human limbs, 
these sometimes having all the plastic characteristics of human organs. 
On a few occasions, organs true to life — one could almost say living — 
especially hands (fingers with nails), could be perceived simultaneously 
by sight, touch, and hearing, while the medium's hands Avere kept 
motionless. These organs showed their living character by grasping 
objects held out to them, by various movements, by digging their nails 
into the skin of our hands, while they could not possibly be mistaken 
for the hands of the medium {see Sitting of 18th November 1910, where 
a hand provided with three finger-stumps pressed its nails irrto the back 
of the author's hand). The same imperfections in the development of 



HEAD FRAGMENTS, FACES AND PHANTOMS 279 

materialised forms were shown by the medium Eusapia Paladino. Thus 
the author recollects having seen an arm stump with three fingers 
during the Munich sittings with that medium. In other ways, also, 
the experiences with Eva C. show many correspondences with the 
phenomena of Eusapia. The symptoms of mediumistic labour and its 
muscular accompaniments were found in both persons. The same 
utterances of pain, the same moaning and pressing, the same effort of 
will, when, for instance, the materialised limb is to touch one of those 
present, or to carry out definite actions. Perhaps, even when the 
teleplastic organ, or fragment, is apparently separated from the medium's 
body, there may be a connection with it by invisible threads, which 
transmit nerve impulses outward or inward. We must, at least, assume, 
in view of the results of 16th May 1913, that the movement of the 
suspended finger observed by Dr Bourbon was transmitted by the cord- 
like connection with the medium, which apparently consisted of organised 
matter. In general, the completely developed vital aggregates seem to 
have an animal nature. They are the bearers of kinetic energies, they 
sometimes, by means of an entirely unknown mechanism, produce motor 
effects, which resemble the effects of human limbs, and they are subject 
to the influence of the unconscious psychic activity of the medium. 
Perhaps, also, the mental activity of the sitters has some effect. 



HEAD FRAGMENTS, FACES AND PHANTOMS. 

The last, and perhaps most interesting series of observations and 
photographic records in this work concerns the appearance and repro- 
duction of distinctly marked faces, heads and whole figures in the 
form of fragments, mask-like forms, and pictorially and artistically 
produced portraits. These objects are sometimes sketchy and incom- 
plete, as if surprised by the light during development, sometimes 
plastically developed ; or, again, drawings on a soft, flat basis, and are 
fastened either to some part of the medium's body, to the curtains, or 
to the back of the cabinet (excepting the freely suspended picture of 
10th September 1912). The majority of them are picturesquely draped 
with grey or black veils, or with some solid fabrics which, in some cases, 
conceal portions of the face. 

In none of these forms have the independent movements of living 
organisms been observed or clearly proved to take place, although some 
heads give the impression of being taken from nature, while others 
appear to be images representing objects seen and retained by the 
memory. The general impression made by the comparative study of 
these mediumistic products is that there is a distinct tendency to 
represent, with the most varied artistic means, the essential features of 
certain types of faces in the teleplastic material provided, i.»., to 
materialise them. In a considerable number of these representations 
(Figs. 62, 63, 68, 92, 108, 116, 122, and 149) the vivacity of the expres- 
sion, their impressionistic and elementary character, and the softness of 
the outlines, are noted with some surprise, while others look more 
conventional and wooden {see Figs. 63, 112, and 115). While the former 
presuppose certain artistic talents, some of the latter appear amateurish. 



280 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

Possibly the many disproportions of parts in the faces, the remarkable 
distortions, displacements, and bendings, as well as the imperfections 
and faults of execution, may be due to the manner of production and 
to the quality of the basis, which is sometimes soft and pulpy, and 
sometimes flat and resistant. The decorative veil-like ornaments, 
sometimes very cleverly arranged, appear to coalesce with the heads as 
if originating in the same primitive ground substance, thus increasing 
the peculiar softness of the structure and composition. According to 
the opinion of artistic and technical experts, the same impression cannot 
be obtained with purchasable masks, or pictures provided with veiling, 
since these would always look hard, and, on an enlarged picture of this 
kind, the origin of the preparations could easily be recognised. 

The homogeneous character of the creations also appears in the 
flowing transition from the flat to the plastic, as seen in Figs. 65, 95, 
106, 122, 137, and 157. Faces drawn on a flat surface show real hair of 
beard, or head, in the shape of a short-haired substance, apparently 
laid on, of which Fig. 137 gives an interesting example, on studying this 
stereoscopic transparency in a bright light. Or a twisted piece of 
fabric, laid over the forehead, represents the bridge of the nose, and, 
at its lower end, assumes the real form of a nose. 

The question of the plastic development of the images shown is 
best judged by the distribution of shadows, the comparison of front 
views and side views, and the study of the parallax effects presented by 
stereoscopic photographs. That the material is not only plastic, but 
capable of change and development, is proved by the differences observed 
in photographs of the same object taken in rapid succession. Thus, on 
30th December 1911, and on 7th June 1912, we succeeded in photo- 
graphing the same female face twice, at intervals of a few minutes. In 
both cases we find not only a considerable advance in the poise of the 
head, in outline and in expression, but the second picture also shows a 
higher grade of development, thus indicating progress in the process of 
materialisation. The use of prepared sheets of drawings, or enlarged 
photographs, is also rendered very improbable by the distribution of 
the light and shade, which would have to correspond with the direction 
of the light at the sitting itself. But on none of the photographs 
obtained are there any shadows inconsistent with the actual direction 
of the magnesium light. Nor could the medium prepare for this par- 
ticular incidence. In Paris, two flash-light apparatus were placed on 
different sides of the room, and she could not know which was about to 
be used. It may be regarded, as a general rule, that the exposure of 
a completed head image is preceded by a state of development. During 
this stage there are exhibitions of white conglomerates, films, and veils, 
which begin at the mouth, or in the medium's lap, and change their 
place, while the medium's hands are controlled. The mysterious 
intelligence, which appears to be concerned in this preparatory work, 
evidently wishes to make face and head types optically visible, but 
requires a certain time for doing so, which may amount to as much as 
an hour. Sometimes several heads are shown simultaneously, the maxi- 
mum number observed by the author being three. The single exhibition 
of a finished image is usually very short, and never longer than several 
seconds. In the meantime the images retire into the dark, to emerge 



HEAD FRAGMENTS, FACES AND PHANTOjMS 281 

again shortly afterwards, as if by magic. On several occasions the 
cabinet and the medium were searched after such a disappearance, 
without finding anything. 

The personal impression of the rapid appearances and disappearances 
is as if the light illuminating the object were suddenly switched on or 
switched off. As a rule, the later exposures show a higher development 
and a greater finish in the objects than the earlier ones. This is especi- 
ally the case as regards the plastic development of the objects. 

The stages in the development of head forms may be divided into 
three : — 

No. 1. Production of elementary material in the form of white 

conglomerates, wisps, and shreds. 
No. 2. Development of flat pictorial portraits on a soft and flat 

basis. 
No. 3. Formation of a plastic relief of certain portions of the 

face, and, in the hairy portions, up to complete sculptural 

modelling. 
The material is sometimes self-luminous, as is shown by the photo- 
graphs of 7th June 1911 and 21st August 1911, as well as by the cloud 
seen on 23rd February 1913. Mme. Bisson observed this luminosity as the 
preliminary stage in the development of the phantom on 8th June 1913. 

The question as to what is preserved, during the disappearance and 
reappearance of a given image, is not easily answered. The differences 
observed, for instance, in the four portraits of M. Bisson indicate a 
process something like that by which an artist makes four independent 
pictures from the same model. It is remarkable that practice apjjears 
to make such reproductions easier, the medium being less exhausted by 
the later productions than by the earlier ones. It sometimes happens 
that the later exhibitions of a given image show less clearness and detail 
than earlier ones. This may be at the end of a sitting, when the medium 
is exhausted. The process of disintegration may be instantaneous, or 
it may, like the process of formation, take place in stages. The author's 
observations of 30th November 1912 (Figs. 123 and 124) show that an 
intact and completely developed female face may shrivel up and show 
parallel fissures, such as are also shoAvn in earlier stages of development. 
Such a process of involution was once observed by Mme. Bisson on 
the naked body of the medium. The process of indentation and fusion 
plays a great part in embryonic development, and, as Hseckel pointed 
out, in his General Morphology of Organisms, there is no hard and fast 
separation between the building of regular crystals and that of organic 
structures, so that geometrical forms are ultimately the foundation of 
both. 

A frequent accompaniment of the more elaborate materialisation 
processes is found in the small particles, or aggregates, of teleplastic 
matter which are found on the skin, the clothing, or in the neighbour- 
hood of the medium, having no apparent connection with the main 
materialisation. Thus, on 15th November 1910, the tips of the left 
index and middle fingers are enveloped in an extremely fine veil-like 
fabric. Smaller subsidiary materialisations occurred on 5th November 
1911, 20th April 1912, and 30th August 1912. If Eva's performances 
consisted of fraudulent manoeuvres, with objects smuggled in, in spite 



282 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

of the control, the production of these smaller things, which can only be 
made visible by enlargement, or by special photographic processes, is 
quite unexplained, whereas, if we have to deal with an unknown for- 
mative process, such by-products may very well arise. The fact that 
the teleplastic matter leaves behind traces mostly of a liquid or semi- 
liquid character eliminates many hypotheses based upon fraud or 
hallucination, and must also profoundly influence our ideas of its 
fundamental character. 

It is too early to formulate hypotheses, but whatever may be the 
laws and forces governing materialisations, the medium's psyche must be 
brought in as a determining, or, at least, as a contributing, factor. Eva 
herself has no artistic talent or education ; nor does she show any desire 
to visit Art Collections, or otherwise develop her own artistic sense. 
Mme Bisson, on the other hand, being a practical artist, must have 
exerted a profound influence on the medium by her authoritative 
suggestions. Without knowing it, Mme. Bisson must have played a 
very important part in the genesis of the psycho-physical images 
recorded. Mme. Bisson was often able to obtain materialisations .of 
a special character by suggestion, and sometimes, at the end of a seance, 
when the medium was tired and wished to close the sitting, she secured 
the repetition of a phenomenon by energetic suggestions. 

Eva knew M. Bisson when he was about sixty. The portrait shown 
on the 1st June 1912 corresponds to his appearance at thirty-eight. 
This suggests the materialisation of a memory image of Mme. Bisson, 
and so does the production of the portrait of her nephew. The produc- 
tion was facilitated by Eva having seen both these persons. It would 
be quite out of place to conclude, from the materialisation of the features 
of these persons, that the spiritistic view should be adopted. The 
spiritistic view is also weakened by the undoubted influence of the 
ideas prevailing among the sitters upon the products of materialisation. 
The phenomena obtained with Eva C. may be considered as the products 
of a still unexplained ideoplastic capacity of the mediumistic con- 
stitution. 

The materialisation process consists of two factors, one of which is 
the simple spontaneous secretion and formation of a material of a tran- 
sitory character, while the other is the utilisation of this material for 
the production of forms, images, and living organs. The emanation of 
the teleplastic ground substance is the first requisite for the ideoplastic 
process. 

The foregoing purely hypothetical hints are only made for the 
purpose of taking the facts observed and recorded in this book out of 
the region of the marvellous, and of spiritistic faith, into the region of 
natural law, and to indicate the direction in which, perhaps, a possible 
explanation may be found. 

Thus, for the unprejudiced investigator, the medium is not only 
the unconscious producer of phantasms, but is the physiological source 
of material for making them visible, as well as the formative power in 
the phenomena. While the inspiration and the genesis of the medium- 
istic processes appear to proceed in many cases from the somnambulic 
or subliminal consciousness, suggestively influenced by the memory 
images of the persons taking part in the sittings. 



CONCLUSION 283 



CONCLUSION. 

In a comparative survey of the whole of the teleplastic productions of 
the medium Eva C, we, are struck by their variety and the wealth of 
forms which mark these creations. This is not only shown in the 
fantastic lines and in the extraordinary appearance of the simple 
products and fragments of organs which, as already pointed out by 
Professor von Keller, resemble the play of natural forces found among 
creatures which are half animal and half vegetable, as well as among 
corals and stalactites ; but is also seen in the tendency towards har- 
monious completeness, artistic composition, and vivacity of expression 
in the faces and phantom forms. 

This aesthetic impulse towards formation and spatial expression 
corresponds to the fundamental tendency of nature, which ever pro- 
duces new forms and shapes, while bearing within itself its own laws 
and conditions. 

The observation of the phenomena in the photographic records from 
various sides leaves no doubt of the fragmentary character of that 
which is represented, especially where we see the reproduction of human 
creatures and members. The materialisation usually ends in the 
optically perceptible portion of that which is exposed to the light. 
Thus, in the profile images, the half of the face not visible to the observer 
is usually lacking. Never was a back of a head attached to a face 
modelled in relief. The stereoscopic transparencies, when carefully 
studied, show holes and black spots where, perhaps, a right eye ought 
to be. On the full phantoms the feet are wanting, and the position of 
a hand is only very roughly indicated. We can, therefore, with the 
material at our disposal, lay down a general law that a continuation oj 
the materialisation of organic parts, beyond the field of vision of the observers, 
is non-existent. 

While in a real living being the plastic anatomy is developed in all 
directions, in the observations here described only the visible portions 
are finished and brought into view, and these are limited to the most 
necessary means of expression. It is true that in the shadow of the 
curtains we find stalk-like projections and connections for the forms and 
faces, but we never find such organs and parts as would be found in 
living organisms as necessary supplements. Here we have undoubtedly 
an intention of the creative force, working with limited means and 
possibilities, so that there is only the production of fugitive material, 
a more or less well-developed impression of form fragments, with the 
object of producing a definite impression on the eye of the beholder. 
This raises the important question whether the whole materialisation 
process has not hitherto been misunderstood and falsely interpreted 
by exaggerating the analogy of these teleplastic productions of medium- 
ship with living organisms under the influence of the " spirit " hypo- 
thesis. In discussing this question, it should be mentioned that the 
scanty material hitherto published, in the way of photographs of this 
kind, contains no contradiction of the experiences gained through 
Eva C. The elucidation of this important point must be reserved for 
future research. 



284 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

If we attempt to analyse the simplest teleplastic processes, there are 
numerous questions which we cannot answer at present. 

Are the changes in the living substance, called teleplasm, produced 
by known mechanical or physical forces ? 

Does the teleplastic material resemble the most primitive living 
substance by consisting of a colloidal and a crystalloidal solution, such 
as is described by Thomas Graham, as the fundamental property of 
living matter ? 

Do active mechanical agents, with the help of fine membranes, 
produce assimilation and dissimilation in teleplasm as in protoplasm, 
thus accounting for the phenomenon of growth ? 

Are its spontaneous movements and changes of form comparable 
with the movements of the amceba, which projects pseudopods through 
its structureless mass, and thus creeps across the field of the microscope ? 

Do the processes of materialisation mean the transitory formation, 
the fugitive and evanescent building-up, of multicellular organs and 
organisms, whose existence, as in all higher creatures, is conditioned by 
motion, nutrition, growth and reproduction ? 

Does the rational, positivist point of view apply to the materialisation 
problem at all ? 

Even the conception of vitalism, or biological energy, gives no real 
explanation. A description is no explanation. Science reveals causal 
connections, and shows changes to be the effects of definite causes, but 
the way in which the effect results from the cause remains unknown. 
" The falling stone in this sense is a miracle to us, for we do not know 
how the earth manages to attract the stone. Neither do we know 
what are the energies whose effects we perceive."^ 

But all the daily miracles around us fulfil definite laws within a 
distinct region of nature, while the phenomena described in this book 
seem to lie outside them, since, at present, we are unable to find any 
connecting link with known laws. They therefore offer a large field to 
the craze for the marvellous and to mystical fancy. 

Considering the abysmal contradiction between the physical pro- 
cesses of mediumship and the results of the exact sciences, it is natural 
for serious investigators to assume that the mediums conjure up a world 
of spirits by means of painted sheets of paper, rather than that we have 
to do with a definite region of fact. For science is not yet sufficiently 
advanced to assimilate, without an effort, these new, improbable, and yet 
authentic results of observation. But that is no reason to consider this 
region of fact as devoid of interest. Perhaps some investigator will 
arise, sooner or later, who will find it worth while to concern himself 
seriously with the mediumistic problem, and to re-examine the contents 
of this book. 

Let us hope he may find many valuable hints for his own studies. 

But will he succeed in bringing these strange riddles nearer solution 
and satisfy our thirst for knowledge ? Or will he, like all investigators 
who have hitherto tried to raise the veil, have to conclude his work 
with the words " We do not know," and perhaps ask again the old 
question raised by Kepler : " Is it possible that the whole visible world 
is but the outer shell of an invisible world of forces ? " 

^ Carl Jentsch, Odwald und die Myatik. Der Tag, 1911. 



Part II. 
OBSERVATIONS 1913-1919. 



INTRODUCTION. 

"Conflict is the J at her of all things.'' — Heraclitus. 

When Du Moncel, on 11th March 1878, first exhibited to the French 
Academy of Sciences the phonograph, a savant, named Bouillaud, took 
him by the throat and called him a swindler and a ventriloquist. This 
happened in the presence of Camille Flammarion. According to some 
savants, the medium Eva C. produced some of the materialisation 
phenomena described in Part I. fraudulently with the muscles of the 
stomach and oesophagus. 

But since the rumination hypothesis would only apply to a few of 
the phenomena, the medium would have to be a snake-charmer and 
first-rate conjuror as well, and would be wiser to exhibit her art on the 
stage instead of leading a simple and retired life. 

Even should the medium possess all these talents, they would not 
suffice to explain the facts observed by the author. 

Yet the criticism advanced in the daily and scientific press prefers 
to deny these facts and to regard the author as the victim of a deception 
extending over four years. 

The objections put forward in the press and in pamphlets could not 
be answered as they came, since it was often necessary to deal with 
some of them, such as those concerning the use of illustrations from 
Le Miroir, by means of new experiments, and to obtain expert opinions. 

The world war which broke out in 1914 interrupted the investigations 
and discussions for several years. Yet even during the war a few stray 
accounts of further tests appeared, till, in 1918, Dr Geley published his 
comprehensive and favourable observations. 

The material published after the issue of the first German edition, 
with some chapters from the author's Kampf um die Materialisations 
Phcenomene (" Controversy concerning Materialisation Phenomena "), 
is comprised in the present Part II., and forms an important supplement 
to the original volume. 

In addition, some analogous experiences with other mediums are 
briefly cited, so that the reader now not only gets a survey of the ten 

285 



286 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

years' work with Eva C, but is shown that such phenomena are not so 
rare as one might expect, and that they show great similarities in their 
occurrence and development. 

The illustrations in this Part II., in so far as they are not repeated 
from Part I., are made by Messrs Hambock at Munich. For the repro- 
ductions from Le Miroir the original pages have been used. 

Finally, the author takes much pleasure in thanking Colonel Peter 
and Prof. Urban for their co-operation in this work. 



THE RUMINATION HYPOTHESIS. 

The special gift of Eva C. lies, as already mentioned, in the region of 
teleplastics or materialisation. The only possible objection which can 
be made is that the materialisation products are, in some way, fraudu- 
lently smuggled into the stance room. The business of the control is, 
therefore, the comparatively simple one of preventmg the medium 
from bringing in objects for exhibition, or having them passed to her 
by an accomplice. The result of the control has been consistently 
negative, and therefore favourable to the medium. 

This must be specially emphasised since the Munich observers, who 
doubted the genuineness of the phenomena, had to admit that " nobody 
can find any material which might be used in these materialisations, 
either before or after the sitting." 

Being thus driven into a corner, the need for an explanation takes 
refuge in the rumination hypothesis, which asserts that the stomach, 
or the gullet, may be used as hiding-places for the images and objects 
produced, and assumes that the medium is an expert in the rumination 
process. 

One of the supporters of this theory, now advanced for the first time 
in the history of mediumistic phenomena, describes the process as 
follows: " It is quite simply (!) done like this: Pictures are drawn, 
painted, or photographically reproduced on chiffon gauze, after the 
dressing has been removed in hot water. These pictures are then cut 
out along their contours. The same can be done with gold-beaters' skin, 
which has the advantage of being unaffected by moisture (saliva and 
gastric juices). It is also very thin, and therefore occupies a small 
space when folded. It is soft, noiseless, and shows no traces of folding, 
crumpling, or rolling. Such things are swallowed before the experi- 
ment. Among other things there are rubber gloves, such as are used 
for operations, objects cut out in the shape of hands, formless shreds of 
animal mesentery, as well as catgut, and the like, which can be inflated. 
All these can be swallowed into the same human stomach. 

" The investigator, of course, cannot find these things by inspection, 
nor even by means of X-rays. They can only be discovered by the 
stomach-pump. The medium, either tied up or held by the hands during 
the sitting, brings up these things noiselessly behind the curtain and 
unfolds them with the hands, or her mouth, on her knees, which are 
drawn up for this purpose under her chin. The medium then suspends 
these things with her hands or her mouth at the curtain by means of 



THE RUMINATION HYPOTHESIS 287 

small hooks attached to the preparations (twisted pins). These hooks 
are turned inwards before swallowing, so as to produce no injury. The 
suspensions of these hooks can be traced by pin-holes actually found in 
the curtain. The removal of the materialisations is also affected by 
the hands or the mouth. When the flash-light is turned on the medium 
regularly simulates a strong nervous shock, makes convulsive defensive 
movements, frees her hands from control, and closes the curtain as if 
for defence. Then, behind the closed curtain, the medium swallows 
the objects, after hastily crumpling them up into a small compass. 
Agility is not witchcraft, but a matter of practice." 

The final stage in this fraudulent manipulation is imagined by the 
critic to be as follows : " The materialisations are then vomited at 
home, or if they keep lying in the stomach, because they have perhaps 
unfolded themselves, they are removed, in a natural way, by means of 
mashed potatoes or stewed plums." 

The process here described therefore presupposes : Painted or 
drawn images on gold-beaters' skin, chiffon gauze, paper, or some 
textile fabric, to which twisted pins or small hooks are attached, and 
for the other experiments the smuggling of shreds of mesentery, or the 
guts of cats or lambs, the repeated closing of the curtain, and rising 
from the chair for the purpose of fastening these things to the curtain, 
which is supposed to be done exclusively with the mouth, and finally — 
" mashed potatoes and stewed plums ! " 

The presence of prepared images is contradicted by the technical 
opinion given by the Manager of the Hambock Institute of Graphic Art. 
The structures resemble animal and vegetable forms, and show no 
marks indicating manual work or manufactured fabrics. For this and 
other reasons stated in the report, we cannot be dealing with prepared 
images. {See also the discussion at the end of Munich Sittings.) 

The production by rumination cannot be assumed in the case of a 
whole extensive group of phenomena, in which odd forms and fragments 
of members and faces are generated before the eyes of the observers, 
without the participation of the medium's mouth or respiratory organs, 
while her body is motionless (knees immobile, hands under visible 
control, or held by the observers, and head visible in a red light of 
about one hundred candle-power). In these conditions the materialisa- 
tions have been observed to execute automatic movements (changes of 
shape and of place). Nor can the instantaneous appearance and dis- 
appearance of the structures be explained in this way. The develop- 
ment of a forearm and hand out of a white patch in front of the medium's 
feet (Fig. 26), the pressing of fingers provided with nails into the back 
of the author's hand, three times in succession, while the medium's 
hands were held and her body was visible and motionless (Fig. 22), the 
luminosity of the material in the dark (Fig. 141), are all examples which 
tell against this theory. More than half the observations are excluded 
from discussion in connection with the rumination hypothesis by the 
fact that they had no connection with the mouth. 

It has, indeed, been proved, partly by photography, in another large 
class of experiments, that the substance often emerges from the mouth 
and disappears in the same way, and that, therefore, the organs of 
respiration and digestion may be concerned in the production of the 



288 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

transitory material, but one cannot see how solid and plastic objects, 
the size of human faces, could be swallowed and brought up again, out 
of the stomach, without attracting attention. The help of the knees 
and hands is eliminated by the new control introduced in November 1912 
(hands held, or visible, during the whole sitting), and also by a large 
number of previous experiments. 

That flat substances can be withdrawn from their envelopes, spread 
out, smoothed, set up, folded up again, and compressed into a given 
small volume, and all in one or two seconds, is an assertion which, in 
itself, requires proof. 

In the sitting of 9th May 1913 the medium Eva C. was completely 
sewn into a tricot garment in one piece, which only left her hands free. 
Her head was enveloped in a veil, sewn on to the neck of the garment 
all round, and her hands remained visible in the light during the whole 
sitting, and took no part. The materialisation phenomenon, as shown 
by the photograph. Fig. 150, developed outside this cage, which enclosed 
her whole body, and could not, therefore, have been produced by 
rumination, unless we assume that the substance penetrated the veil. 
Such a penetration could be photographically proved under the same 
rigid conditions in the case of two different mediums. The process by 
which the material penetrated through the meshes of the veil has no 
connection with the act of rumination, and in this, as'well as in previous 
occurrences, other hypotheses must bebrought forward for an explanation. 

Finally, rumination presupposes an abnormal functioning of the 
stomach and gullet, as well as the dilatation of the walls of the stomach. 
In the two mediums with whom the author experimented (girls of 
twenty-six and nineteen respectively) such pathological peculiarities are 
not found, nor could they have been hidden from observation for four 
years. There are no indications pointing in that direction. 

It has also been objected that the medium can always prepare 
herself behind the closed curtain, so that there is always a possibility 
of making materialisations appear without any apparent participation 
by the mouth. 

This objection also does not apply. Hands and feet remained 
visible even when the curtain was closed. In a number of sittings the 
materialisation process even commenced during hypnotisation, and the 
author had hardly time to open the cameras. In the sitting of 17th May 
1910, which also began with an open curtain, the author sat by the 
medium in the cabinet and observed the evolution out of Eva's mouth 
of a flocculent substance, which in no way corresponded to the supposed 
scheme of rumination. The production of complete head images often 
took place so quickly after hypnosis (e.g., 1st June 1912) that the 
fraudulent technique required for rumination was rendered impossible 
owing to the shortness of the time available. 

On 1st June 1910 the phenomena were observed with an open 
curtain. At the sitting of 28th October 1910 the curtain was open 
from the beginning. Further records of curtains being open will be 
found in the reports of 3rd November and 28tli December 1910, 7th June 
and 16th August 1911, and 11th September 1912. 

Although the above arguments, which could easily be multiplied, 
dispose of the hypothesir of the rumination of swallowed objects, that 



THE: RUMINATION HYPOTHESIS 289 

hypothesis was further investigated in a sitthig on 26th November 1913 
in Paris. The initial and final examination of the medium (mouth, 
nose, and hair, as well as a gynsecological examination), of the seance 
costume and the cabinet, conducted by the Paris physician, Dr Bourbon, 
and the author, were negative. M. Bourdet and Mme. Bisson were also 
present. Eva C. dined at seven o'clock. The sitting commenced at 
8.45 P.M. in a feeble white light. Hands and knees were visibly inactive 
during the whole sitting. The medium did not leave her chair in the 
cabinet for a moment. The curtains were open while the phenomenon 
took place. 

Between 9 p.m. and 9.10 p.m., without the help of the hands or knees, 
a flowing white substance emerged from the medium's mouth, which 
was inclined towards the left. It was about 20 inches long and 8 mches 
broad. It lay on the breast of the dress, spread out, and formed a 
white head-like disk, with a face profile turned to the right, and of life 
size. Even after the flash-light was ignited the curtain remained wide 
open. At the same moment the author illuminated the structure with 
an electric torch, and found that it formed a folded strip, which receded 
slowly into the medium's mouth, and remained visible until the sittmg 
closed at 9.20 p.m. 

While m the state of hypnosis, the medium rose from her chair and 
took an emetic tendered to her by the author.^ (1 gramme ipecacuanha 
and I gramme tartar emetic), was completely undressed while standing 
half in and half out of the cabinet, and examined m detail by the author 
and Dr Bourbon, who took charge of the seance costume, and also 
examined it carefully. The final examination of the cabinet and chair 
gave no result. Dressed in a dressing-gown, Eva C. was then laid on 
a couch in the room, and was not left unobserved for a moment. , 

^: After two further doses of the same strength, vomiting set in at 
9.30 p.m., which brought up the contents of the stomach. The quantity 
was about a pint, and was taken charge of by the author, who did not 
give it out of his hands until he handed it over to the Masselin Laboratory 
in Paris for analysis. The vomit was brown in colour, and besides the 
wafers taken with the powders there was no trace of any white substance 
such as observed by us. The detailed report of the Laboratory m ques- 
tion, dated 29th November 1913, closes with the words : " The final 
result of the examination shows that the vomit consisted exclusively 
of food products and the emetics, and contained fragments of meat, 
fruit, and vegetables, probably mushrooms, which were found in pieces 
of considerable size. The rest of the contents consisted of food in an 
advanced state of digestion. There was not the slightest trace of a 
body whose appearance or histological structure gave the impression 
of a foreign body, or of a substance not used for nutrition, and, in 
particular, there was no trace of paper or chiffon." Although this 
experiment is a sufficient refutation of the rumination hypothesis, 
Eva C. announced her readiness to submit on another occasion to the 
process of stomach rinsing. A record was made of the sitting, and was 
signed by all those present. The above procedure may be taken as a 
defuiite proof of the inadequacy of the rumination hypothesis to explain 
the phenomena observed to develop from Eva's mouth. So long as 
images like those published in this book have not been brought up by 



290 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

rumination, correctly exposed, and disposed of in the same way, without 
the use of the hands or knees, and so long as a technique assumed by 
the critics is not proved to be possible by evidential experiments, this 
attempted explanation must be considered as an hypothesis itself 
requiring proof. 



EXPERT OPINION ON THE FRAUDULENT USE OF CERTAIN 
MATERIALS FOR PRODUCING TELEPLASTIC IMAGES. 

Although the proper movements of the formations and their shapes 
tell against the rumination hypothesis, Colonel Peter has made experi- 
ments on the use of delicate fabrics for deceptive purposes. 
His opinion is as follows : — 

"No. I. 'Crumpled and folded papers.' — I drew some heads with 
chalk and charcoal on the finest tissue papers, fixed them and folded 
them up in small pellets or rolls, which could easily be concealed in 
the mouth. I then went into a dark room, in order to fix the paper 
head to a black curtain. At once I came up against a great difficulty. 
It was not at all easy to unfold the moist pellet in the dark. The paper 
tore in several places, although I used every care. Then I did not know 
which was the right side for exposure. When I had succeeded, after 
patient labour, in stickmg up the head, I was faced with new difficulties. 
The paper always collapsed and folded up again. Finally, I had to use 
four or five pins. At last the ' phenomenon ' stuck. Then I turned 
on the light and found that I had pinned the head upside down ! It is 
quite unthinkable that all this delicate and difficult work should be 
done in a short time in the dark by any person. The assertion that the 
medium does it when her hands are free for a moment, or even with her 
mouth, is absurd. The images show their mode of production ; the 
thousands of small folds or rents do not allow of the production of a 
single smooth surface, as shown in nearly all the pictures in Dr von 
Schrenck's book. The first comparison shows that the phenomena 
cannot be produced in this way. 

" No. 2. ' Gold-beaters' skin.' — I doubt if any one who considers this 
a suitable material for the fraud in question has ever seen gold-beaters' 
skin, for when I had acquired a piece the size of a human head, I saw 
at once that, on account of its yellowish-grey colour and its transparency, 
it was quite unsuitable. A drawing in charcoal or the like is hardly 
visible when the skin is put on a dark curtain. I had to put it on top 
of a white tissue paper. In spite of the double layer the head could be 
folded into a very small compass. The unfolding and attachment of the 
picture in the dark room was attended by the same difficulties as^before. 
" The flash-light photograph (Fig. 181) inmiediately betrays the 
origin of the ' phenomenon.' One sees at once that there is no plastic 
development. The thin white foundation is recognisable throughout. 
Shadows are lacking, or are wrongly distributed. The crumpling and 
folding into a small compass distorted the face, especially the eyes, 
nose and mouth. It is evident that the phenomena described cannot 
be reproduced with gold-beaters' skin. 



Fig. iSi. Imitation on gold beaters skin. 




Fig. 182. Imitation on chiffon. 



MATERIALS FOR PRODUCING TELEPLASTIC IMAGES 291 

" No. 3. ' Pieces of Chiffon,' even strongly compressed, occupy more 
space. The drawing of a Hfe-sized human head on this material could 
not be concealed in the mouth. If one has got hold of the packet in 
the dark, the difficulty is here not the unfolding, but the sticking up. 
It requires several pins. 

" The picture (Fig. 182) shows the work of the loom, especially at 
the margins, and the folds distort the features. The conclusion is that 
the fraud cannot be carried out with chiffon. 

" For the methods Nos . 1 to 3, it must be assumed that the medium 
herself can draw, which is known not to be the case ; or that she has an 
able assistant who provides the images for the phenomena. If the 
critic says that ' artists have given the private opinion that the images 
are at no higher artistic level than typical heads on cigar boxes, or in 
fashion journals,' we can only reply that their judgment must be 
subordinated|to that of an authority like Professor von Keller. 

" No. 4. ' Images are taken from the illustrated journal Le Miroir 
and gone over with charcoal, chalk, etc., in such a way that the origin 
is no longer recognisable.' 

"A simple practical experiment shows that this assertion cannot be 
substantiated. The picture in the flash-light shows a lack of contrast. 
The folds of the paper are easily recognised. 

" General Conclusion. — The pictures and fragments obtained by 
Dr von Schrenck in the sittings with Eva C. cannot be produced with 
paper or by masks of the materials suggested." 



Besides the rumination hypothesis, our opponents have advanced 
a number of unverifiable assertions, consisting largely of gossip and 
slander, against the medium and her protectress. These assertions are 
composed of alleged facts which on close examination turn out to be 
quite unfounded, unjustified assumptions or allegations due to the 
negative, subjective predisposition of the critic. 

It is fairly well known that every publication about mediumistic 
phenomena is followed, after a brief interval, by a sensational report of 
an exposure. In view of the extreme readiness of many people to 
credit newspaper reports, it is not surprising that they are accepted in 
preference to observations which conflict with popular opinion and 
scientific orthodoxy. Such a typical development took place after the 
appearance of Richet's report, and also after the first publication of my 
work. A serious critic should take as the basis of his arguments, not 
the sensational reports of a newspaper, or second- or third-hand accounts, 
but only the authentic originals with their appended documents. In 
some cases a single encounter with the subject of our investigations is 
claimed as a qualification superior to years of study and experimental 
work. This is really to submit knowledge to the arbitrament of ignor- 
ance. The expert is to acknowledge the layman as his judge ! In 
spite of the general experience that the mediumistic phenomena " depend 
upon distinct physical and very delicate psychic conditions, that the 
experimental investigation requires much patience, knowledge and 
care, the lay mind retains the characteristic point of view that the 
phenomena must occur without a fulfilment of their natural conditions. 



292 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

on paiii'of denying them recognition." It is unfortunate that learned 
men, who see the phenomena for the first time, commit the error of 
supposing that their entry into the arena marks the beginning of the 
proper investigation of mediumistic phenomena. They disregard the 
copious hterature and the many strictly scientific reports of their col- 
leagues, such as the numerous unrefuted results obtained by eminent 
investigators with the medium Eusapia Paladino (the Italian savants, 
Morselli, Porro, Foa, Botazzi, and Luciani, as well as the report of the 
French Commission, edited by Professor Courtier). Nor do they take 
into consideration the many years of observation devoted by the author 
to the same medium. They demand thai a judgment should be based 
upon the few positive sittings which they have themselves attended. 
Even if the author's results with the two mediums (which do not necessi- 
tate the spiritistic hypothesis) could be reduced to faulty observation 
and deception, such a considerable remnant of facts vouched for by 
other observers would remain, that, as Ostwald says, we should have 
to try to assimilate them. 

FRONT PAGE ILLUSTRATIONS FROM THE 
JOURNAL LE MIROIR. 

It was to be expected that the face and head images published in the 
works of the author and Mme. Bisson, appearing, as they do, in the 
form of isolated flat or mask-like forms, with or without a drapery of 
veils, should meet with severe criticism. As already discussed in detail 
in the chapter on negative points, a superficial examination of these 
photographs must, on account of their pictorial character and other 
resemblances to drawings sharply cut out, suggest fraud, unless the 
experimental conditions are taken into account, and this is, apparently, 
confirmed by the folded, crossed, torn and crumpled appearance of 
many of these productions. 

This circumstance has been exploited by the Brothers Durville of 
Paris, owners of an institute for animal magnetism and massage, and 
proprietors of a book-selling and publishing busmess for the literature 
of the subject. In the journal The Psychic Magazine, founded by them 
on 1st January 1914, they published a series of articles directed against 
Mme. Bisson's book. 

Their collaborator. Miss B. Barkley, claims to have identified a 
nmnber of the head images produced by Eva C, and pubhshed in our 
works. She says, in No. I. of the magazine mentioned : " In 
Mme. Bisson's book there are no real materialisations, but only pictorial 
representations of faces. All these belong to well-known personages. 
The medium took her choice among the celebrities of the moment, 
contenting herself, in a childish manner, with defacing certain pictures 
by a few ridiculous and badly-placed retouchmgs." She continues : 
" Take, for instance. Figs. 119 to 121 " (in the author's work. Figs. 118 
to 120), " which show the features of a woman. The inner camera 
registered on Fig. 112 " (the author's Fig. 119) " the word ' Miroir.' 
The medium therefore used the journal Le Miroir for her images. . . . 
Now, it is remarkable that the heads are nearly always the same size 



ILLUSTRATIONS FROM THE JOURNAL LE MIROIR 293 

as that of the medium " (incorrect — author). " We have therefore to 
deal with fraud by the latter." 

The lack of clearness in the above expressions concerning Figs. 118 
to 120 produced, in the translation into German, the wrong impression 
that these belong to a single series of images produced at the same 
sitting, so that some critics have erroneously supposed that on one side 
of the exposed phenomenon the word ' Miroir ' was to be read, and, 
on the other, a female face was to be seen. This supposition is not 
supported by the photographic data. For the picture representing the 
side view from within the cabinet (Fig. 119), and containing the word 
' Miroir,' was produced in the sitting of 27th November 1912, and 
this isolated phenomenon had nothing to do with the head image 
(Fig. 120). The sitting of 29th November was negative as regards 
materialisations. It was only at the next experiment on 30th November 
1912 that a well-developed female face (Fig. 120) could be photographed, 
standing on the medium's head The photographic results obtained 
on 27th| and 30th November 1912 (Figs. 118, 119 and 120) are 
therefore quite independent of each other. 

The heads of celebrities reproduced on the front pages of the journal 
Le Miroir are a little below life-size, and are all in black and white 
autotype. 

Miss Barkley's allegations were taken up by the Neue Wiener 
Tagehlatt, and elaborated as follows : " Miss Eva prepared the heads 
before every seance, and endeavoured to make them unrecognisable. 
A clean-shaven face was decorated with a beard. Grey hairs became 
black curls, a broad forehead was made into a narrow one. But, in 
spite of all her endeavours, she could not obliterate certain characteristic 
lines. I (Miss Barkley) eliminated the disguises and reproduced the 
originals from the ghost pictures. There is, first of all, a picture of 
M. Poincare. The hair of the President of the Republic has been 
altered and blackened, and his face has been lengthened, but all the 
other characteristic lines of his face remained. In a similar manner I 
have established the identity of all the other ghosts. I find among 
them the heads of President Wilson, of Paul Deschanel, the King of 
Bulgaria, and several eminent actresses of the Comedie Fran^aise." 

According to the same journal, on 30th December 1913 the medium 
is supposed to have photographed every picture after these retouching 
operations. The journal then adds : " A tall ghost in white drapery 
was Ferdinand of Bulgaria, only thinner. And another ghost is the 
beautiful actress Mona Delza, only deprived of her beautiful hair and of 
her eyebrows." 

The Parisian daily Le Matin did not allow such an opportunity for 
a sensation to escape, and published a whole series of articles (15th, 26th, 
27th and 29th December 1913 and 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 8th January 1913) 
centring round Miss Barklej'^'s alleged discovery. 

Before proceeding to a strict examination of the material brought 
forward by Miss Barkley to support her serious accusation, I may refer 
to some explanatory remarks regarding these pictures published in 
Part I. It seems, in the first instance, to be faulty logic to derive a 
proof of fraud from the constitution of the materialised object, since 
there is always the possibility that such apparently suspicious sub- 



294 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

stances may be produced by the medium under conditions excluding 
all fraud. In this connection I may refer to the discussion in the 
section on negative points and the hypothesis of fraud. The further 
question as to whether, in the sittings referred to, the conditions were 
so arranged that fraudulent manoeuvres, enabling the medium to hide 
and smuggle in such pictures, were impossible, must be answered in 
the affirmative. In the sitting of 27th November 1912, in which the 
word " Miroir " was produced, both the cabinet (chair, walls, floor and 
curtains) and the medium's body (dressed only in tights and a black 
apron dress) were examined before and after the sitting. Eva C. was 
sewn into the dress at the waist, the back, the neck and the sleeves. 

Still in the white light, and just before hypnosis, Eva's hands, 
being in front of the curtain, and holding both flaps, were laid on her 
knees, and remained there illuminated with the red light during the 
two hours of the sitting. At the extinction of the Avhite light, 
Mme. Bisson held Eva's hands. The record was kept during the sitting, 
the times being correctly stated. 

In this sitting also the medium's hands remained outside the curtain, 
visible in the red light (one hundred candle-power) until the close of 
the sitting, and could not have been used for the alleged unpacking and 
fastening of a disk-like structure on her hair, on the interior of which 
the word " Miroir " was printed. 

Immediately on the ignition of the magnesium light at 10,42 p.m., 
the phenomenon disappeared without a trace. The final examination 
of the medium and the cabinet was negative. How could this absolute 
disappearance take place in the fraction of a second ? The author, by 
the way, closes the account of this sitting with the words : " 1 can at 
present form no opinion concerning this curious result." 

The picture which Miss Barkley describes as resembling President 
Poincar6 was taken by the author at the sitting of 6th March 1913. 
Before this, as before every other sitting, the cabinet and the chair were 
examined. {See report of the Sitting of 6th March 1913.) 

The second photograph taken during this sitting is reproduced in 
Figs. 142 and 143, and is supposed to resemble President Poincare, as 
regards the shape of the tie ! The first picture during the same sitting 
shows a self-luminous materialisation. 

Let us assume for the moment that Miss Barkley is right. How 
would the medium have been able to hide the Miroir reproduction, to 
unravel it, to expose it on her head, and to make it disappear without 
a trace ? The movements observed in the head when first seen gave 
the impression of a filmy substance and not of paper, and whence the 
accompanying phenomena ? and what is the connection between the 
self-luminous neuroblastic structure and the picture from Le Miroir ? 
Is it rationally thinkable that, amidst the most puzzling phenomena 
which are sometimes exhibited even on the medium's naked body, 
suddenly a Miroir reproduction should appear? That is not only 
improbable, considering the course of the sitting, but is impossible on 
account of the experimental conditions observed during this sitting. 

The materialisation identified with President Wilson (Fig. 136) was 
taken by Mme. Bisson alone, whereas the one provided with the three 
warts, also identified with President Poincare (Fig. 149), was obtained 




Fig. 183. Author's photograph of 27 November, 1912, enlarged. 

repeated.) 



(Fig. 119 



• • \ 


J 




bJ^ . 


i 


Wf^ 


■ ■'— ^, 







Fig. 184. Top left: See fig. 1S3. Bottom left: Author's attempt to imitate 
Fig. 183 BY exposing the title page of "Miroir" against Eva C. Top and 
bottom right: Imitation experiments with title of "Miroir" and portrait 
of President Poincare, by Dr. Hauberrisser. Photographic conditions the 

same as at the sittings. 



ILLUSTRATIONS FROM THE JOURNAL LE MIROIR 295 

in the presence of the Paris physician Dr Bourbon, while the medium's 
head was entirely sewn up in a veil, and while her hands remained 
visible outside the curtain during the Avhole sitting. 

Miss Barkley now owes us a proof that under such conditions a 
Miroir picture could be exposed. 

Miss Barkley's assertion that our books contain no true materialisa- 
tions, but only pictorial representations of heads and faces, can surely 
only mean portraits reproduced on a flat surface. But in answer to 
this we may refer to the arguments brought forward on page 280, 
Part I. 

All these careful individual observations, the regular recurrence of 
the same process of development and disappearance, and especially the 
plasticity of many faces, as proved by mathematical and stereoscopic 
considerations, cannot be brought into harmony with Miss Barkley's 
hypothesis, which, in any case, is based only on very few appearances. 
Although the conditions of the control at the sitting of 27th November 
1912, in which the word Miroir was produced, excluded fraudulent 
manipulation, so that the phenomena obtained must be declared to be 
genuine, I shall yet examine the objections of the critics who utter the 
suspicion that the heading of the journal Le Miroir might have been 
exposed in this case (Fig. 183). 

In order to examine this question independently, the author made 
test experiments with two title-pages of Le Miroir of the year 1912, 
reconstructing the photographic conditions of the sittings (Fig. 184). 

In all cases, as shown by the expert opinion of Dr Hauberrisser, the 
type comes out much too weak in comparison with the strong develop- 
ment of the original letters on our negative. Now, we could hardly 
assume that the colour and shape of the letters could be increased 
by any transfer process, especially when the original is printed. On 
the contrary, such a reproduction always shows a diminution of the 
colour contrast in comparison with the original. Now, if we wished to 
assume that Eva had strengthened the letters by hand, she would have 
been wiser to draw the letters herself to begin with. That would have 
been much simpler than the very lengthy process described by the 
critics. Besides, any manual retouching would be easily traced in the 
considerable enlargement of a transparency. We may therefore assert, 
on the basis of the expert tests, that in print both the original Miroir 
title-page and a reduced reproduction thereof, when photographed under 
the original conditions, yield other and very much weaker pictures than 
those shown by the strongly marked letters of the phenomenon itself. 

Neither the original print of the Miroir, nor any copy of the same, 
technically produced, can, therefore, have been exposed on that occasion. 
Hence the genesis of these letters is none other than the process by which 
pictorial materialisations products are generated. We have, therefore, 
the two following facts : (1) With an exposure of headings of the 
journal Le Miroir we cannot produce a negative such as is shown in 
Fig. 119 ; (2) the shade and form of the letters does not differ materially 
from the productions of the printers' press. 

The jDresence of the article " Le " indicates some connection with 
the journal Le Miroir, and it is not probable that there is some other 
connection, such as an advertisement in another paper. 



296 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

As regards the similarities described by Miss Barkley (Fig. 95, 
Deschanel ; Fig. 108, Mme. Leconte ; Fig. 116, Mme. Faber ; Fig. 120, 
Mona Delza ; Fig. 136, President Wilson ; Fig. 138, Ferdinand of 
Bulgaria ; Figs. 143 and 149, President Poincare), these so-called 
identifications, by their grotesque exaggeration, constitute a first-class 
journalistic bluff, which reduces itself to the correspondence of certain 
details in only three pictures, i.e., Figs. 136, 143 and 149. All the rest 
belong to the region of arbitrary guesswork. Correspondences in 
certain features, lines and directions of gaze can, in any case, be easily 
discovered. One need only examine illustrated journals from this 
point of view, and one will find astonishing similarities where there is 
no connection between the two objects compared. Besides, a chance 
similarity of type is very frequently found in external form, pose and 
expression. That is easily explained, since organisms, such as human 
beings, have developed according to the same morphological principles, 
and have a certain sameness in that development. Nothing is easier, 
for instance, than to discover two entirely similar noses in two people 
not related to each other ; or to find similar collars and ties on different 
men. But if we go as far as Miss Barkley, then, finally, every comparison 
can be permitted, for every human being has two legs, one nose, two 
eyes, and two ears. He moves according to definite rules ; he is dressed 
according to the fashion of the day, which suppresses all individuality. 
Thus, between any two male individuals, certain qualities and corre- 
spondences can always be found. 

An interesting example is furnished by Fig. 108, obtained as a third 
flash-light photograph at the sitting of 5th August 1912 in Munich. 
Now, the alleged Miroir original of this photograph (Figs. 185 and 186), 
the portrait of the actress Mme. Leconte, appeared on 4th August 1912 
in Paris. 

We may regard it as impossible that Eva C. could have seen this 
journal only twenty-four hours afterwards, on the 5th August, in 
Munich, and could have altered it and used it for fraudulent purposes. 
In judging of this point, we must take into account the fact that this 
photograph shows, in itself, a transformation, since Fig. 103, the first 
photograph of 5th August 1912, shows the same type of face with less 
elaboration. In both cases we have to do with the same model. This 
is shown by a comparative study of the expression, the build of the 
nose, forehead and eye-sockets, and the fabric ornamentation. The 
flash-light photographs are not rigid drawings on an unchanging surface, 
but show a flowing variation, with a change of numerous details. 
Besides, the dissimilarity of all details in the Miroir picture (Fig. 185) 
is almost as great as it can be, compared with Fig. 186, although we may 
recognise a distant similarity in the formation of the head. 

The picture which is supposed to represent Mona Delza (Figs. 122 
and 188) did not appear in the Miroir at all, but in the Journal Femina 
of April 1912, below life-size, and could be obtained commercially only 
in a small size through Felix & Cie, Paris (Fig. 187). How this picture, 
redrawn life-size, could be exposed as Fig. 120 of this work, has not been 
indicated by Miss Barkley. She contented herself with adopting the 
fraud hypothesis, without a shade of similarity or a particle of'evidence. 
The comparison of Fig. 140 with the King of Bulgaria, Vhose portrait 




Fig. 185. Portrait of Mme. Leconte. 

Title page of " Miroir," Paris 

4 August, 191 2. 




Fig. i86. Author's third photograph, 
Munich, 5 August, 1912. (Fig. ioS above.) 




Fig. 187. Portrait of the actress Monna Delza, pubi-ished in '' Femina 

April. 1912. 




Fig. i88. Author's flashlight photograph of 30 November, 1912. (Reproduc- 
tion OF Fig. 122.) 




Fig 189 Left • Phantom photographed ix the sitting of 13 February, 1913 (Fig. 
140 above! . Right : Portrait of the King of Bulgaria from "Miroir"' with white 

MANTLE to RESEMBLE PHANTOM. BeLOW : KiNG'S HEAD ENLARGED. 




Fig. 190. Portrait of M. Deschanel 

FROM TITLE PAGE OF "MiROIR"' 




Fig. 191. Photograph of 24 June, 1912. 

95 ABOVE.) 



(Fig. 




Fig. 192. Photograph of 2 May, 1912. (Fig. 149.) 




Fig. 193. President Poincare's portrait cut from "Miroir" and photographed 

BY author with EvA, UNDER PHOTOGRAPHIC CONDITIONS, AS AT THE SITTINQS. 



ILLUSTRATIONS FROM THE JOURNAL LE MIROIR 297 

was made as similar to the phantom as possible by means of a bathing 
wrap (Fig. 189), is also entirely devoid of foundation. It appears from 
a letter from an Italian correspondent, that he finds the greatest resem- 
blance between the phantom and a deceased relative of his. While 
Dr von Gulat, in Fran von Kemnitz' pamphlet, asserts that it resembles 
the author. Perhaps there will be a few more identifications ! 

In comparing Fig. 191 with the head of the politician Deschanel 
(Fig. 190), there is only the direction of the gaze to go upon. All the 
other lines and features are entirely different. 

The examples quoted suffice to reduce Miss Barkley's arbitrary 
constructions ad absurdum. 

In another picture, Fig, 192 (Fig. 149), the comparison with the 
face of President Poincare, Fig. 193, reduces itself to a similarity of 
the three pimples on the left fold of the cheek. The development of 
the left nostril is similar in both, but not the same, since it forms a 
greater elevation on the phenomenon picture. All the other lines — the 
whole build of the face, the eyes, and the gaze — are quite different in 
the two pictures. Furthermore, the expression, in the phenomenon 
pictures, is particularly lively, and much more marked than in the 
Miroir original, which could hardly be expected in a secondary repro- 
duction. In addition, the stereoscopic photographs show distinctly 
that the hair on the phenomenon consists of actual hair. Also, the size 
of the two pictures, compared by taking one part — say the nose — as a 
unit, is so different that no amount of redrawing could have enabled 
any one to use the Miroir picture as the foundation for the alleged 
transformation. 

As regards the three pimples, the fold joining the nose and cheek 
are specially favoured positions for such growths. Thus, the late 
M. Alex. Bisson had three pimples exactly in the same spots. We might, 
therefore, assert with the same show of reason that his portrait had 
been used as a model. 

When the publications in the Matin gave rise to the suspicion that 
for the above-named mediumistic picture portraits from the journal 
Miroir had been redrawn and fraudulently used, the author went to 
Paris, cut the heads in question out of the numbers of the Miroir, and 
photographed these on the medium's body, with the help of the photo- 
grapher Barenne, in the seance room, under photographic conditions 
precisely the same as those of the sittings, in order to decide whether 
autotype prints could have been exposed by the medium at all. But, 
as shown by the agreement of the expert opinions of the Paris and 
Munich photographers, in all these tests the Miroir pictures came out 
uniformly so feeble, and so devoid of vivacity and relief, and markedly 
less defined than the reproductions shown in this work, that, for this 
reason alone. Miss Barkley's hypothesis is untenable. 

In particular, the photograph of the head of President Wilson, as 
seen in the reproduction of our test experiment, is immediately recog- 
nised as a reproduction, since on the left shoulder and the breast of the 
coat, as well as on the lip, eyelid, and moustache, the marks of the 
process plate can be seen with a magnifying glass, and betray the 
process of reproduction. It is altogether an impossibility entirely to 
eliminate these marks of the process plate by manual treatment ; nor 



298 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

can the grain of the photographic plate be rehed upon to obHterate the 
dots of the Meisenbach screen. Considering the large number of illus- 
trations, the origin would be betrayed somewhere. In some places the 
autotype tonings would be retraced, as in Fig. 19, where even the 
structure of the medium's skin is seen, that being a proof of the sharpness 
of the photography. The screen used for the figures in the Miroir 
shows four points per millimetre, and is therefore fairly coarse and easily 
recognised. We must, indeed, in judging of the phenomenon photo- 
graphs, take into account that the simple exposures do not show the 
plastic character of the fabrics and veils added to the portraits, and may 
thus give rise to errors, since these veilings almost always show some 
kind of pattern (moire structure), which could easily be mistaken for 
the screen pattern. As regards the composition of the draped mcdium- 
istic heads, the stereoscopic photographs are decisive. By manual 
treatment the screen pattern, particularly the half-tones, cannot be 
entirely obliterated, while any painting over the pattern would be 
immediately recognised with the naked eye. The phenomenon pictures 
reproduced, if obtained from art publications, would have to show a 
moire structure in the photographs as reproduced, owing to the inter- 
ference of the double pattern, but that is not the case. 

This is another reason for saying that prepared Miroir reproductions 
cannot have been exposed as materialisation phenomena. 

Of particular interest is a comparison of Fig. 143 with the same 
Miroir portrait of President Poincare. One remarks the same cross 
striping and the same distribution of light and shade on the long ends 
of the two ties ; while the upper loop of the phenomenon is short and 
broad, and only shows one cross fold. Poincare's tie is provided with 
a longer knot and several cross folds. There are other distinct and 
obvious differences, especially in the narrower end of the tie, which, in 
the phenomenon, appears torn off, and ends a few millimetres below the 
knot. There are also distinct differences in the opening of the waistcoat 
and coat, as well as the length of the beard. It is certain that no 
exposure of the Poincare original, in spite of the similarity of some 
details, would give an image of the neck portion equal to that of the 
phenomenon. 

Careful measurement also shows that the phenomenon head is large 
in proportion to the dimensions of the tie, and that no exposure, even 
after working up details, will give the phenomenon picture of 6th March 
1913. Such difficulties may also have occurred to the person who wrote 
the attack in the Matin of 26th December 1913, in which great emphasis 
is laid on the similarities in the two ties, for in presenting the two 
portraits the phenomenon picture was changed almost beyond recog- 
nition. The lines of the eye were strengthened, the tie was darkened 
and redrawn, so that now both the ends run into the knot. Also, a 
wing of the collar, which is not in the original, was added. The collar 
of the coat was changed, the tie was lengthened, and the folds of the 
coat collar were modified. In this way, of course, any degree of simi- 
larity can be artificially produced. 

The illustrations Figs. 194 and 195 show the accuracy of these 
observations. It was unfortunate that the whole attack on the illus- 
trations in the works of Mme. Bisson and the author was based upon 




Fig. 194. Photograph taken 6 March, 1913. (Fig. 143 above.) 




Fig. 195. Top : President Poincare, as published by "^[iroir." Bottom left : 

Manipulated tie and shirt-front from the phantom (Fig. 194) published by 

"Matin" 26 December, 1913. Bottom right: Collar and tie from above 

portrait, published by "Matin" of 26 December, 1913. 



OPINION OF THE PHOTOGRAPHER, BARENNE 299 

this picture, which had been worked up in favour of the hypothesis of 
fraud, and was largely quoted in the German and foreign press. None 
of the critics seem to have considered it worth while to verify the asser- 
tions in the Matin by comparison with the originals in our books. 

Another important point in comparing the autotype pictures of the 
materialisations is that the medium, in our photographs, always shows 
the same photographic exposure as the products, even when the latter 
are pictorial, and this is not the case with prepared illustrations or 
drawings, as is shown by the following opinions : — 

Opinion of the Photographer, Barenne (Paris). 

" I, the undersigned, hereby declare that for four years I developed the 
photographic plates handed to me by Dr von Schrenck Notzing, and 
derived from the sittings with Eva C, at the residence of Mme. Bisson. 
Dr von Schrenck has always been present at the development of the 
negatives. 

" It has been asserted that the medium used portrait heads published 
in the journal Le Miroir. 

" In order to refute this accusation, Dr von Schrenck called on me, 
and on Friday, 9th January 1914, we made test experiments in 
Mme. Bisson's fiat, by attaching the portrait heads in question to the 
medium, seated in the cabinet, or asking her to hold them. For this 
purpose we had cut out first the portrait of President Poincare 
(Fig. 193) ; secondly, that of President Wilson ; thirdly, that of the 
King of Bulgaria (Fig. 189, right) ; and fourthly, that of Mme. Lecomte. 
All these portraits had appeared in the Miroir. Besides these, a test 
photograph of the heading of the journal Le Miroir was made, when 
held against Eva's hair (Fig. 184). 

" We endeavoured to take these photographs under precisely the 
same conditions as the photographs of the original sittings. Immedi- 
ately on developing the plates I found that the development met with 
extraordinary difficulties, which had never been encountered in the 
negatives obtained with Eva C. The impression made by the photo- 
graphed pictures is feeble and lifeless. The pictures came out too light 
in tone, and were veiled on the negative. 

" I had to employ a special process to obtain detail on the cut-out 
heads, while preserving the life-like character of the medium's head. 
Such an expedient had not been necessary during the four years of work 
with the mediumistic plates. On the contrary, the expressiveness of 
the materialisation on the plate was always in right relation with the 
clearness of the medium's features. I must also remark that the 
slightest correction with the retouching pencil of the faces reproduced 
would have been recognised immediately on development. Every 
photographer would say the same, just as every photographer can 
confirm that the fundamental substance of the materialisations of Eva C. 
gives no impression of paper. 

" We may, therefore, assert with absolute certainty that the medium 
cannot have used the reproductions in question. 

" (Signed) Barenne, Photographer, 
" Paris, l\th January 1914. " Rue Duret, 27 bis" 



300 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

Opinion of the Photographer, Albert Halse (Paris). 

" For the last two years Mme. Bisson has handed me photographic 
plates for development without any further details. The negatives 
excited my interest to a great extent. Anxious to obtain an explana- 
tion, I enlarged the pictures on the negatives until the medium had the 
dimensions of a giantess. Whenever I had any doubts with regard to 
the objects represented, I employed this means of satisfying my thirst 
for knowledge. A very strict examination of the materialisations, 
thus enlarged, always brought me back to the conviction that it was not 
a case of deception. Later, Mme. Bisson also asked me to produce 
enlargements of various pictures. Now it has been maintained that 
these photographs were produced with cuttings from journals. Such an 
assumption is only consistent with a very superficial examination. No 
photographer, familiar with photographic technique, would make such 
an assertion, since he has at his disposal more scientific methods of 
control than a simple examination with a magnifying glass. As regards 
the supposition that the negatives themselves were fraudulently pro- 
duced, one may assert the absolute contrary with a clear conscience. 
Since the photographic methods, now generally known, are practised 
even by amateur photographers, any one can recognise, with ease and 
certainty, whether or not these negatives have been retouched. The 
repairing of small unexpected injuries to the pictures was abstained 
from in order to be able to say quite definitely that even the slightest 
correction had never been applied. At Mme. Bisson's request, I photo- 
graphed some of these illustrations for comparison. The pictures look 
different from the photographed phenomena of materialisation, for the 
latter appear on the negative quite distinctly and clearly during develop- 
ment as if they were objects in relief, while the former, under the same 
conditions, appear grey, flat and indistinct. 

" (Signed) Albert Halse. 
*' Paris, January 1914." 

Opinion of Dr Georg Hauberrisser (Munich). 

" Munich, \5th January 1914. 
" I WAS commissioned by Dr Freiherr von Schrenck Notzing to ascertain 
whether pictures, cut out of the journal Le Miroir, and worked upon 
by hand, could have been used for representing the materialisation 
phenomena, I am convinced that, in spite of several agreements in 
detail (tie, eye-glass, pimples), cut-out pictures could not have been 
used in their original condition. As every photographer knows, the 
time required for a black and white picture is only from one quarter to 
one-eighth of the time required for persons and other things. If, there- 
fore, the head of the medium is correctly exposed, a picture from the 
Miroir would be nearly white, owing to over-exposure, and would only 
appear very feebly drawn. 

" By a practical experiment, in which all conditions were, as far as 
possible, the same as at the sittings (same flash-light, powder in same 




Fig. 196. Mme. Bisson's photocraph of iq Jantakv, 1913. il'io. 136 above.) 




Fig. iqj. Right corner : President Wilson's portrait from 
"MiRoiR ' Xo. 34, 1912. Below : The same, artistically treated 
to resemble Fig. 196. 



OPINION OF PROFESSOR HERMANN URBAN 301 

quantity, same distance, black background, same opening of diaphragm, 
same plates and sensitiveness, similar development, and other treatment 
of the negatives), a head cut out of the Miroir was, indeed, obtained, 
nearly white, with only very slight definition, something like a relief in 
plaster of Paris, while the phenomena, in Dr von Schrenck's originals, 
show strong definition, and about the same brightness as the medium's 
head. The title of the journal Le Miroir, when photographed under 
the same conditions, also only appears feeble, while, in Dr von Schrenck's 
photograph, the letters are clearly marked. 

" Heads cut out of the Miroir can, under the same conditions, only 
have been used by colouring the paper with a non-actinic colour (brown, 
red, or yellow) and strengthening the drawing by hand in nearly all its 
parts. The cut-out heads could be obtained with the same clearness 
as the materialisation phenomena, if the exposure were reduced some 
sixteen to thirty times, but in this case the experimental photographic 
conditions would be quite different from those applied by Dr von 



Schrenck Notzing. 



(Signed) Dr Georg Hauberrisser, 

" Photo-Chemist: 



Opinion of Professor Hermann Urban (Municli). 

" Dr von Schrenck Notzing handed to me, on 12th January 1914, 
No. 34 of the French journal Le Miroir, on the front page of which was 
found a portrait of President Wilson. He also gave me a greatly 
enlarged photograph of a male portrait reproduced as Fig. 136 of the 
Phenoincna of Materialisatio7i. The problem was to ascertain whether 
this portrait could have been produced by changing, or working-up. 
President Wilson's head, as was maintained in the Psychic Magazine 
of 1st January 1914. On a superficial examination of the two pictures, 
there certainly appear to be some correspondences or similarities of 
detail, which suggest a discussion of the assumption, and giving rise to 
some suspicion. 

" Both pictures (Figs. 196 and 197) show the same form, the same 
shading, and the same lines of collar and tie. But exact measurements, 
with a scale, show that the lines in the materialisation photograph run 
differently from those in the Wilson portrait, especially on the right- 
hand edge of the tie. In the picture of the phenomenon, the tie on the 
right is more round and bunchy. The coat collar of the phenomenon 
is also more vertical and stretched than in the Wilson portrait. The 
tie itself shows an agreement in both pictures, as regards drawing, 
especially in the shading and folds. The right-hand portion of the shirt 
and coat collar also corresponds to the Miroir reproduction. 

" While Wilson's head is bent to the right and is pomted below, the 
head of Fig. 196 is placed quite straight on the shoulders and does not 
taper below, having a broader jaw down from the cheek-bone. The 
middle of the lips is also displaced towards the right, which is not the 
case in the Wilson portrait. That this displacement, which only affects 
the head and not the basis, could have been produced by the method 
of photography, seems to me impossible, for the whole picture would 



302 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

have to give a distorted impression, which is not the case, as is particu- 
larly evident from the regular forehead and eye portion. In painting, 
there is usually a numerical proportion, the line passing vertically 
through the centre of the face, being divided into three approximately 
equal parts, which are — first, forehead down to the root of the nose ; 
second, root to tip of nose ; third, tip of the nose to the point of the 
chin. Now, if the Wilson portrait had been changed by drawing and 
then exposed, these constant proportions would also have to agree, 
both in the phantom reproduction and in the Miroir original. 

" The height of the forehead fits nearly three times in the vertical 
middle line in Wilson's portrait, while, in the phantom photograph, 
the same ratio is over three and a half, the forehead being too low in 
comparison with the lower portion of the head, the chin being rather 
short. If the Wilson portrait had been used, it is difficult to say why, 
in Fig. 196, the head stands vertically on the neck, or perhaps somewhat 
bent backwards, which makes the chin project, while in the Miroir 
picture the head is bent forward, with a slight turn towards the right. 
The result is that, in the Miroir picture, the forehead is nearer the 
camera and the chin seems to recede, while in the phenomenon picture 
the lower half of the head projects, and the forehead is slightly further 
away from the camera, which may account for the short forehead. If 
a horizontal line is drawn over President Wilson's eyebrows and touching 
them, the ear is a trifle below this line, on account of the head being 
bent forward. If the same is done in the phenomenon portrait, the ear 
is rather lower, which indicates either a bending backwards or an 
entirely upright position. That is a point determined by the propor- 
tions of the lines, and cannot be affected by redrawing, without entirely 
displacing the axis of the phenomenon head. The objection that the 
forehead had been cut short is disposed of by the fact that the typical 
position of the head would not be affected, even if the forehead were raised. 
" At first sight the right eye is apparently the same in both pictures, 
and the upper line of the eye-glass passes in the same direction, but a 
further examination shows that the eye m the Miroir picture is straight 
when a diameter is drawn through the corner of the eye, while the 
same ratio, applied to the phenomenon head, shows a slight inclination 
to this line, the outer corner being higher (Mongolian eye). 

" Furthermore, the drawing of the eye-glass, in the phenomenon 
picture, is a displaced oval, while in Wilson's case the outline of the 
eye-glass shows the regularity and accuracy of a photograph. The 
differences in the eyebrows, and the line of the hair, need not be dealt 
with in detail, since such changes could be produced with a chalk pencil, 
as Miss Barkley suggests. 

" I have tried to convert the Wilson portrait mto a copy of the 
phenomenon picture with a charcoal pencil, but it was impossible to 
alter the position of the head, which shows at once that this picture 
cannot have been used fraudulently for the phenomenon picture. It 
also appears to be impossible to hide the marking of the half-tone screen 
by drawing, especially in the light and middle tones, while, in the 
enlargement of the phenomenon head, I discovered no indications of 
the half-tone screen, as would have been the case if the Wilson portrait 
had been drawn over and thereafter exposed. 



OPINION OF PROFESSOR HERMANN URBAN 303 

" Neither could I transform the chin into the characteristic shape 
of the phenomenon image, because one could only obliterate the line 
of the chin by erasure, a process which is not onlyJatal to thin paper, 
but which would also dispose of the half-tone marks, and that would 
be immediately discovered in a photograph. Such significant marks of 
the half-tone screen are not found in the original, although, in the 
reproductions of the phantom picture in the book, they are easily 
recognised. It follows that the marks of the half-tone screen cannot be 
hidden at all, and betray themselves with absolute certainty. 

" To this must be added that the enlargement of the original negative 
handed over to me is nearly double the size of the reproduction of this 
negative in the book itself (with visible screen marks). Screen marks 
would, therefore, have to be more characteristic and visible with the 
naked eye, while they are actually not even seen with a magnifying 
glass. 

" The phenomenon image recalls a typical soft charcoal or chalk 
drawing, and therefore suggested a charcoal drawing. The latter 
cannot show the screen structure throughout. That could only be 
obtained by liquid painting, superimposed gouache or water-colour. 
This is contradicted by the characteristic appearance of the pheno- 
menon picture, which recalls pencil drawing, or stump teclmique, and 
not painting, which, indeed, would present extraordinary difficulties 
on bad paper. It would also show the marks of the brush, which would 
have to be used with thick paint, in order to produce a complete covering 
up of the half-tone screen pattern. 

" If the Wilson portrait from the Miroir, modified by drawing, had 
been used for the phenomenon picture shown in Fig. 136, it would 
show screen marks, while the technique used for producing the changes 
would betray itself by a dozen characteristics. 

" It would also be impossible to obliterate the differences between 
the two heads, as to their position, their proportions, and the several 
details of the face. 

" It follows, with absolute certainty, from these considerations, 
that the portrait of President Wilson, shown in the Miroir, No. 34, 
1912, could not have been made into the phenomenon picture, Fig. 136, 
by any artistic manipulation, in spite of some striking similarities. 

" (Signed) Hermann Urban. 

" Munich, 14>th January 1914." 

In connection with Professor Urban's Opinion, it should be pointed 
out that, in President Wilson's portrait, the tie is tied with a pin, the 
head of which is evidently engraved with a coat of arms. This is absent 
in Fig. 196, and although Miss Barkley indicates a slight shading on 
the latter, which might represent that object, it is too far on the right- 
hand side. 

The whole of the similarities with the Miroir pictures, of which so 
much has been made in the Press, reduce themselves to the followmg 
four points: — 

1. The agreement of certain details of Fig. 196 with the Wilson 

portrait. 

2. A partial resemblance of the tie marks of Fig. 194 with the 

portrait of President Poincare. 



304 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

3. In the three pimples characteristic of that face, shown in the 

head of Fig. 192 ; and 

4. In the occurrence of the letters Miroir. 

As no explanation is forthcoming based upon fraudulent manipula- 
tion by the medium, and as it is impossible that either the originals of 
the Miroir pictures, or manually altered copies of them, could have 
been exposed to produce the photographs in question, we must look 
for some other explanation, based upon the origin of the teleplastic 
creations. 

The teieplastic creations are so closely connected with the psychic 
condition of the medium that Morselli compared them with materialised 
dream images. This view regards the products as ephemeral, externa- 
lised precipitates of the medium's psychic impressions and reminis- 
cences. That the phenomena m many cases realise the thoughts of 
the medium may be considered as established. I need only recall the 
repeated occurrences of hands as suggested by the sitters, and other 
fulfilments of their wishes. Such a process may also account for the 
projection of memory images of deceased persons, such as M. Alexandre 
Bisson and Mme. Bisson's nephew ; also the production of an image 
resemblmg Leonardo da Vmci's " Mona Lisa," which was so greatly 
talked about when it was stolen from the Louvre. Here, again, we 
have no slavish replica, but an impressionistic representation of the 
style in which the picture was painted. The results of this process, 
which may be called ideo-plastics, are closely connected with the 
psychic life of the medium, with her storage of memories, and with the 
intensity of dommant ideas. 

Optical, or visual, images appear to play the chief part in the case 
of Eva C. Now, it is well known that the clearness of memory ^may rise 
to an abnormal level m the case of hysterical persons (hypermnesia). 
Thus, some slight event of youth, or an entirely lost language, can be 
revived mider abnormal conditions, such as somnambulism or some 
diseases. 

As Offner points out,^ pamters like Vernet, Dore, and Makart were 
able to pamt accurate representations of objects and persons after 
seeing them once. Of the philosopher Seneca, it is said that he could 
recite three thousand words accurately after hearing them once, and 
that he could repeat two hmidred verses m the reverse order. A 
deceased relative of the author was able to reproduce a speech verbatim 
which he had once heard ten years before. The sharpness of memory, 
m such abnormal cases, is sufficiently illustrated by these examples, 
and may be compared to the sharp definition of a photographic plate. 

The occurrence of cryptonmesia, or the recalling of a former memory 
image which had never entered the normal consciousness, is quite an 
ordmary occurrence with hypnotised persons and somnambuhsts. 
Thus, the important nucleus of a thing, or the chief points of a picture, 
can be completely forgotten, while some unessential detail (in our case, 
the form and markmg of a tie, the position of three pimples, the shape 
of a prominent prmt, and certam hues and types of face) may be repro- 
duced most accurately, and may occur in a new connection as an inde- 
pendent psychic performance. This may explain the speaking in 
^ OHuer, Gediiclitnis, Mandbuch der JVaturwmmnchaftenf ^'ol, -i. 



OPINION OF PROFESSOR HERMANN URBAN 805 

foreign languages (glossolalia). That the eryptomnesic pictures may 
lead to the most remarkable and complicated combinations in the trance 
condition is shown by Flournoy's studies on the " Martian " language 
of Helene Smith. 

Cases have been known, both among painters and musicians, in 
which eryptomnesic performances were regarded by the artists as their 
own independent creations, although they could be shown to be identical 
with works of old masters. In mediumistic phenomena we may have 
a combination of ideoplastics with cryptomnesia, and such a combina- 
tion may account for the observed coincidences in the case of the 
Miroir portraits, which were exhibited in nearly all the newspaper 
shops in Paris. If we suppose that the medium saw the Miroir number 
of 17th November 1912 with Wilson's portrait, within a few days of its 
publication, and had received a strong optical impression of the title- 
page, with the word " Miroir " at the head, and of the features of 
President Wilson, it is easily understood that on the 27th November 
she produced the word " Miroir," and later, on the 9th January, the 
type which contained eryptomnesic reminiscences of the tie markings 
and collar, and some facial lines from this visual memory. For the 
production of a word by the ideoplastic process and that of a picture is 
the same process of creation, and the former is only remarkable because 
it was observed only once in the course of four years. 

In the case of other details, like the three pimples (Fig. 149), it is 
possible that an independent teleplastic creation may contain eryptom- 
nesic elements, which are embodied in it. Such intermixtures are 
already well known in the purely psychic region, and have ceased to be 
wondered at. The literature of occultism contains a number of parallel 
cases. Thus, in a sitting held by Richet with Linda Gazerra, an angel 
head, by Rubens, was apparently the model for an ideo-plastic repro- 
duction. 

Morselli draws attention to the fact that such forms, in the first 
instance, are developed in two dimensions, and therefore show a flat 
appearance. He says : " Sometimes they even give the impression of 
being cut out of cardboard, while in other cases their margins are 
undefined." It is only on further development that stereoplastic 
forms are produced, consisting of fragments of limbs, hands, arms, 
faces, heads, up to the formation of a whole identity. The above 
considerations dispose of the objections raised by Miss Barkley, as far 
as they are concerned with the possible fraudulent use of the Miroir 
portraits. 

The result of the examination of these objections may be sum- 
marised as follows : — 

1. Even if the alleged agreement between certain portrait heads, 

reproduced on the title-pages of the journal Le Miroir, and 
certain phantom pictures were greater than it is, yet, in con- 
sideration of the experimental conditions of the sittings, 
a deception due to the smuggling in of prepared art journals, 
and their exposure in the places of the ideo-plastic images, is 
quite excluded. 

2. The alleged similarity of the portraits produced by autotype in 

the journal Le Miroir is confined to the single occurrence of 

u 



306 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

the title heading " Miroir " and the similarity of a few details 
in the portraits of Presidents Wilson and Poincare to those in 
the phantom pictures of 19th January, 6th March, and 2nd May 
1913. 

3. The journal Le Matin published, as a basis of its attack of 

26th December 1913, an illustration from the work of 
Mme. Bisson, which had been manipulated and retouched by 
hand, in order to make it resemble President Poincare. 

4. Expert opinions are unanimous in saying that, if the author's 

photographic conditions are strictly observed, neither the 
original pictures from the Miroir, nor any worked-up copies 
thereof, could have been exposed at the sittings so as to produce 
the author's published photographs. 

5. The occurrence of certain details derived from the title-pages of 

Le Miroir in the phenomenon of the sittings of 2nd November 
1912 and of 19th January, 6th March, and 2nd May 1913, is 
explained by the cryptomnesic function of memory, such as 
is often observed in the somnambulistic condition. Reminis- 
cences of former visual impressions and fragments of dream 
images coalesce unconsciously with the ideoplastic creations 
to form an unified presentation, which may be so misinter- 
preted as to give rise to suspicion. 

Sittings with Eva C. in November and 
December 1913 and January 1914 (Paris). 

The criticisms and attacks following upon the publication of the German 
and French editions of our records induced us to make new experiments 
with Eva C. as a further test of the objections raised. Some records of 
the observational material thus obtained will be communicated here. 

The sittings took place in the room described at No. 33 Rue Georges 
Sand, which was used in May and June 1912. Since, for the first, 
photography was not to be used, a dim white light was employed. On 
the right, beside the cabinet, a screen was placed, and behind this there 
hung a fifty candle-power electric lamp, attached to the pendent, and 
draped with a dark blue rather transparent cloth, which did not per- 
ceptibly alter the colour of the light. The degree of brightness obtained 
in this manner enabled us to make more accurate observations than 
with the red light. Print of a medium size could be easily read, and the 
record could be kept during the sitting. The eye was less easily fatigued, 
and the objects, upon which it was concentrated, appeared brighter. 

The cloth covering of the chair was removed at the end of December, 
and also the red electric lamp in the cabinet, for the suspicion had been 
uttered that the electric lamp, hanging at the back of the cabinet 7 feet 
above the floor, and possibly the cloth covering of the arm-rests, might 
be used by the medium as hiding-places. During the sittings about to 
be described, the medium regularly wore a tricot covering her whole 
body, closing down the back, and provided with sleeves and stockings, 
all in one piece. Over this she put on the apron dress already used in 
previous sittings, and was then sewn up at the neck and sleeves, before 



SITTINGS IN NOV. AND DEC. 1913 AND JAN. 1914 307 

every sitting. The initial and final examination of the medium, cabinet, 
and chair took place in the same way as in May and June 1913. A 
gynaecological examination was unnecessary, partly on account of the 
manner of dressing, and also because the medium could never use her 
hands during the sitting. The hands were always at the curtain, holding 
the two flaps, and resting on her knees. Eva crossed her arms from 
time to time to avoid fatigue, but the forearms were never withdrawn, 
so that every objection, based on the supposed participation of her 
hands, is eliminated. Her feet and knees remain in the same position, 
corresponding to her sitting posture. Eva C. did not rise from her 
chair once, but remained in a sitting position during the whole of the 
observations. The records were kept (as they have been since 1912) 
with an exact indication of the time, and are here quoted in an abridged 
form. 

Sitting of the 7th November 1913. 

Present. — Dr Bourbon, Mme, Bisson, and the author. 

Condition. — As above described. 

9 P.M. Hypnotisation by Mme. Bisson in thirty seconds. Hands 
visible during the whole sitting, sometimes held by Mme, Bisson, sitting 
in front. The curtain was hardly ever closed. This enabled us to be 
sure that at — 

9.45 P.M., the white patch, visible in the medium's lap, did not come 
out of her mouth. The substance grew before our eyes to the size of 
a human forearm. 

9.50 P.M. The strip becomes wider, appears to have mobility of 
its own, takes up a position on the right shoulder in the shape of a flat 
white disk, the size of a head, and disappears upwards towards the right 
before our eyes (not into the medium's mouth), 

10.10 P.M. Further efforts, without result. 

10.45 P.M. Close of the sitting. Final examination negative. The 
movements took place without movement of the hands, and while the 
medium's head was motionless and visible. 

Sitting of the 13th November 1913. 

Present. — Mme. Bisson and the author. 

All conditions as on 7th November. 

8.55 P.M. Hypnotisation of the medium by Mme. Bisson. The 
opening of the curtain was about 12 or 14 inches half way up, from the 
beginning of the sitting, so that one could look into the cabinet to the 
right and to the left. The hands were under constant control visibly 
holding the curtains, and I touched them from time to time. We sat 
immediately in front of the curtain. The medium never rose from her 
chair. 

9.5 P.M. Eva suddenly opened the curtain at her right hand, and 
I saw, on the left against the back wall, about 4 feet above the floor, 
a flat life-sized male portrait, with neck and face turned forwards. It 
had a sharp outline, but did not seem sufficiently clearly developed in 
its details. The curtain was opened wider (without being ever com- 



308 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

pletely closed), and the formation showed itself several times, giving 
the impression of a white marble relief. 

9.7 P.M. With an open curtain, and the medium's body motionless, 
the portrait, quite separate from her body, and about 28 inches away 
from her head, disappeared before our eyes into the black background, 
as if it had lost its own luminosity. An accurate observation showed 
that it had not fallen down, nor was it in any way withdrawn by the 
medium. 

9,10 P.M. On the medium's breast we saw a broad mass, about 
16 inches long, hanging from her mouth. The medium turned her 
head to the left. The mass disappeared from our eyes, and was not 
seen again. 

9.35 P.M. Close of the sitting. Final examination negative. The 
appearance of the white portrait might be regarded as a hallucination, 
if it were not for the fact that for four years we always corroborated, 
by photography, the reality of the objects seen, so that such an objection 
cannot be maintained. In any case, the accurate observation of the 
disappearance of a portrait, the size of a medallion, in a few seconds, 
corroborates numerous observations of this kind, and similar kinds, 
described before. 

Sitting of the 26th November 1913. 
This was described in the chapter on the rumination hypothesis. 

Sitting of the 8th December 1913, 

Present. — Dr Bourbon, Mme. Bisson, and the author. 

All conditions as in previous sittings. 

6.5 p.m. Hypnotisation. The curtain remained open from the 
beginning of the sitting. The hands were constantly visible and under 
control, and were not withdrawn for an instant. 

6.45 p.m. The medium takes off the tricot because it is uncomfort- 
able, and is only clothed in the apron dress. During the change the 
medium's hands were strictly watched. 

6.48 P.M. Loud whimpering. The medium opens and closes the 
curtain with her constantly visible hands. On the left upper arm and 
breast we see a bulky white mass. 

6.55 P.M. We see a life-sized male head on her breast, covering it 
entirely. It gives the impression of a strong pictorial representation 
on a skin-like basis. The full beard is especially clear. The head 
resembles that of the whole phantom. It disappears before our eyes 
while the curtain is open, without being absorbed by the mouth, and 
again as if its luminosity had ceased. The hands did not move during 
the occurrence, and Eva's head also remained motionless. The drawing 
of the face was black on a white ground. 

7.5 P.M. Close of the sitting. Final examination negative. 

A few days before the author's return, on the 7th January, 
Mme. Bisson, in a sitting alone with Eva, again observed the phantom 
seen by the author on 8th December. She turned on the red light and 




Fig. 19S. ^[ME. E^isson's photograph of 7 Janlarv, 1914. 



SITTINGS IN NOV. AND DEC. 1913 AND JAN. 1914 809 

then ignited the magnesium apparatus. In this experiment, also, the 
medium's hands were always visible and excluded from participation. 
The photographic result (Fig. 198) completely corroborates the author's 
observation of the 8th December 1913. 

We see the same phantom head as was photographed four times 
previously (23rd February, 24th March, 19th May, and 8th June 1913), 
so that this is the fifth independent representafion of the same kind of 
face. While the position of the eyes recalls the photograph of 19th May, 
the drawing of the moustache is more stretched out, as in the earlier 
photographs. The proportions of the face make it shorter and broader. 
The forehead especially is lower, the line of the hair being specially 
drawn down on the left side. The full beard is shorter and differently 
shaped from that in the previous photographs. A foreshortening of 
the whole face is also quite possible, owing to the somewhat inclined 
position of the structure in the medium's lap. The head is supported 
on the left by Eva's hand, and is evidently pressed down by the chin. 
The product does not show any rents or folds anywhere, the base pre- 
senting a homogeneous textile character. The impression itself is so 
vivacious, plastic, and sharp that the use of a black and white drawing 
is immediately excluded. Paper is also excluded, owing to the soft 
fibrous margins of the picture. 

A comparison with the Miroir portrait of the King of Bulgaria 
shows a totally different structure of face in the two objects. The eyes 
in the Miroir reproduction give quite a dead impression compared with 
the phenomenon, quite apart from the different position of the eyeballs, 
and other deviations. The photograph of this head was obtained af tee- 
the chief attacks had already been published. 

Sitting of the 9th January 1914. 
Present. — Mme. Bisson and the author. 

Conditions as in November 1913. Chair without covering, no red 
lamp m the cabinet, reduced white illumination. Medium's hands 
visibly controlled during the whole sitting, so that their co-operation in 
the phenomena was excluded. Sometimes they were held by me — for 
instance, at the moment when Mme. Bisson opened the camera and 
switched on the red light. Clothing — whole tricot and dress. 

9.11 P.M. Hypnotisation by Mme. Bisson. Curtains nearly always 
open. Only^at a few moments were the flaps drawn together more 
tightly, while the hands always remained outside the curtains. There 
was no change of hands, which would enable one hand to hold the cur- 
tain while the other was withdrawn into the dark. 

10.3 P.M. A greyish-white patch appears on Eva's breast. Again, 
we have the impression of a skin-like substance on which a profile was 
drawn. I approached my hand carefully to the structure and touched 
the head image with my right forefinger. It gave the sensation of 
a very fine slimy skin, and through it I could feel the stuff of the dress. 

10.5 P.M. Red light switched on. 

10.6 P.M. Curtain v.ide open, flash-light ignited. Eva's hands at 
the moment of the flash-light remained at the open curtain, and, at the 



310 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

same riioment, I quickly touched her breast with my right hand, but 
only felt the dress. Everything disappeared without a trace, and with- 
out the participation of the hands or the head, nor could anything be 
found of the picture in the cabinet. 
10.8 P.M. Another plate is inserted. 

10.10 P.M. The same image appears on the breast, the medium's 
hands being in the same position as before, but the image is less distinct 
and paler. As during the first appearance, the substance this time also 
shows a striped structure. 

10.11 P.M. A second photograph. Probably less distinct than 
before, owing to the magnesium smoke in the room. The image imme- 
diately disappeared with the flash-light, and without any change in the 
position of the medium's hands, head, or body. 

10.28 P.M. Close of the sitting. Final examination of medium, 
cabinet and chair negative. 

When Eva rose from her chair the author put a question to her as 
to whence the materialisation had come, since, on this day, the mouth 
had been out of action. She replied, " The neck." I then found that 
the neck, under the hair-line, was covered Avith a thin layer of a viscous 
substance. I immediately took two glass slides and obtained some of 
this substance for microscopic examination. Eva undressed completely 
in the author's presence, put on her dressing-gown, and went to bed in 
the somnambulistic condition. No residues of the phenomenon were 
found on the dress. The microscopic examination of the preparations, 
treated with iodine, showed numerous plate epithelia, with distinct 
nuclei embedded in a viscous substance. The second preparation showed 
numerous bacteria in the form of rods and diplococcus. The epithelia 
in question resembled those found in a mucous membrane, and did not 
give a horny impression. This result agrees with the findings pre- 
viously enumerated, but we must not exclude the possibility that in 
scraping the neck some cells of the epidermis may have got on to the 
glass slide. 

The photographs (Figs. 199 and 200) of the sitting of 9th January 
1914 completely corroborate the visual observations. The first photo- 
graph shows a male face, rather over life-size, on an apparently compact 
fabric, with vertical stripes, the quality of which gives no impression of 
paper. All the margins are torn, and the structure resembles a coarse, 
but strongly characterised, sketch on a flat ground. We remark the 
strongly curved form of the nose, the slanting nostrils, and the peculiar 
form of the eye. Several deep creases, at the neck and on the forehead, 
prove a soft basis. The position of the mouth is only marked by a 
shadow. The moustache is broad, short and drooping. 

The second photograph, taken five minutes after the first, shows the 
whole silhouette of the head, which, m comparison with the head of the 
medium (who, in both cases, appears to press the formation with her 
chin against her breast), is over life-size. At the forehead the head is 
bent round, and this reveals the soft thin fabric. In this case the ear 
is distinctly drawn. The most remarkable change, in comparison with 
the first photograph, is in the shape of the moustache, which is no longer 
short and drooping, but reaches to the middle of the cheek m a broad 
wavy line. The deep black vertical shadow, which in Fig. 199 cuts off 




1-u:. 199. Author's first flashlight photograph of 9 January, 1914. 




Fig. 200. Author's second flashlight photograph, five minutes after Fig. 199. 



SITTINGS WITH EVA C. IN MAY AND JUNE 1914 311 

the moustache at the corner of the mouth, has disappeared. The 
outline of the chin is rounder, and distinctly changed in comparison 
with Fig. 199. The vertical folds and irregularities of the first photo- 
graph have remained, and serve to identify the two pictures. 

That we have here no previously arranged art journal sheet goes 
without saying, but the changes in the outline, and in the drawing of 
the moustache, betray again the fluctuating and variable character of 
these teleplastic products, a point which weighs heavily against the 
hypothesis of fraud, for how is it possible to transform the drawing and 
shape of the same product in this manner in five minutes ? The trans- 
formation process of materialised products, as already pointed out, is 
one of the strongest proofs for their authenticity. To this we must add 
the extinction of the phantom pictures, which has frequently been 
observed, while the medium was motionless in a reduced white light, 
and could not have used her hands or her mouth. These new observa- 
tions by the author, together with those of other witnesses, confirm the 
facts observed in other sittings, and eliminate the hypothesis of fraudu- 
lent manipulation. 



Sittings with Eva C. in May and June 1914 (Paris). 

Experimental Conditions. 

In April 1914 Mme. Bisson moved to No. l^Rue de La Muette (fifth 
floor). Here she arranged the seance room.) in the manner described 
before, so that the cabinet stood detached, and could be inspected from 
both sides. The wall of the room forming the back of the cabinet was 
part of the lift well. The frame of the cabinet was made of simple 
smooth laths, to which the black lining was attached by nails. 

The medium's chair consisted of simple black bamboo and wood 
laths. A white electric lamp of thirty-two candle-power hung behind 
a screen, and its brightness was reduced by some dark cloth. The 
illumination was bright enough to read print easily. 

The observers took their places immediately in front of the cabinet, 
Mme. Bisson, as a rule, on Seat 2 {see Diagram). 

Red light was arranged for, but was not used, since there was no 
intention of continuing the photographic records. The seance room 
was always locked. It was unlocked regularly by one of the observers 
before the sitting, and during the sitting it was kept locked from the 
inside. 

The roof of the cabinet was 8| feet high. The author could not 
touch it without mounting on a chair. Before and after each sitting 
the cabinet was closely examined, as was the chair, but always with a 
negative result. 

Initial Control of the Medium. 

The seance costume worn by Eva C. consisted of a black cotton tricot 
of one piece, laced up the back from the waist to the neck, so that 
the whole body was covered by it except the hands and the head. Over 



312 



PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 



this tricot she put on the black apron dress described on several previous 
occasions, which was sewn up at the neck and the sleeves while it 
remained open behind. In all the sittings these two articles of clothing 
were closely examined in Eva's absence by the sitters, sometimes with 
the help of an electric lamp. The costume remained in the hands of one 
of the observers until it was put on by the medium. 

Sea /ice ffoo/?7 



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CaS/nef 



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a _ Ayea^/c/mji cha/r 

S. - Scree/? 

C - /^//^/^/ 

<:y^.-Afafg/7ej/u/77 ap/?ara/-uj 

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DiAGRAJI VIII. 



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Eva enteredVthe seance room wearing nothing but a blue dressing- 
gown, and accompanied by Mme. Bisson. She then put on the tricot 
and dress in the presence of the sitters, who closely watched all her 
movements. Then Mme. Bisson closed and sewed up the dress as 
described. The medium's mouth was then closely examined by means 



SITTINGS WITH EVA C. IN MAY AND JUNE 1914 313 

of a spatula, to which an electric lamp was attached. The ears were 
examined, and she was made to blow through each nostril in turn. The 
medium's hair was taken down, and after the combs had been removed, 
nothing suspicious was found. The neck and wrist fastenings were 
then examined once more. Only after the observers had declared that 
Eva C. had nothing suspicious about her body was she allowed to enter 
the cabinet, and take her seat. 

Hypnotisation. 

Two of the observers present then took their seats in places 1 and^3, 
Mme. Bisson sitting between them in place 2. She takes the medium's 
thumbs and hypnotises her by fixation in about thirty seconds, where- 
upon the medium subsides into the chair. The main illumination over 
the chimney is then extinguished, the lamp behind the screen being left 
on. The difference of illumination does not dazzle the eyes. 

The medium's hands were not withdrawn for an instant behind the 
curtains in the sittings about to be described. They remained the 
whole time visible to the gaze of those present outside the curtain, and 
either lying on the medium's knees, holding the curtain themselves, or 
grasped by the sitters in places 1 and 3. This excludes all attempts at 
explanations which presuppose the participation of Eva's hands. 

During the productions the curtains above the visible hands were 
occasionally closed by one of those present with a simple clip, in order 
to cut off the light. During the demonstration itself Eva C. opens and 
closes the curtains with her hands, which remain always visible. 

Other Conditions of Control. 

Mme. Bisson never entered the cabinet during the sittings about to 
be described, but, in a few cases, one of the men present (a savant or 
journalist), entered the cabinet in order to lay his hands on Eva's head 
and neck. There was no smging or formation of chains. Quiet con- 
versation was carried on, but attention was not diverted from the control 
for an instant. 

The persons sitting next to the curtain could, at any time, touch 
Eva's hands, so as to satisfy themselves that they were the warm living 
hands of a human bemg, and not wax imitations. When they wished 
to do so, they could also take hold of the medium's hands and hold them, 
so that some of the phenomena took place while the medium's hands 
were being held. Sometimes the medium seized Mme. Bisson's hands 
ostensibly to gather force. 

Illumination of the Teleplastic Products with Electric Lamps. 

On account of the fugitive character of the materialisation pheno- 
mena, the visual impression is often not sufficiently precise to discern 
any details. In order to remedy this defect an electric hand-lamp was 
connected to the supply circuit by means of a flexible cord. It could 
be made to shme with a red, green, or white light. On such occasions 
one of those present undertook the duty of illuminating the phenomenon 
for a few seconds, which enabled those sitting behind to see it distinctly. 



314 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

Final Control. 

At the close of every sitting Eva C, still in the somnambulic con- 
dition, rose from the arm-chair, stepped in front of the curtain, and was 
again examined as during the initial control, but in the reverse order. 
Her mouth was illuminated, and her hair, ears and hands examined. 
Then, in our presence, the seams were undone, the tricot and dress were 
taken off, and remained in the hands of the observers. The medium 
was then dressed in her dressing-gown and went to bed, still in the 
somnambulic condition. The cabmet, chair and seance costume were 
then finally examined, always with a negative result. All the records 
quoted below were made by the author, during the sittings. 

Sitting of the 15th May 1914. 

Present. — Henriques Philippe (contributor to the Monde Illusire), 
Mr Crawford (British savant). Van Eck, Dumoir van Twick (Secre- 
tary of the Society for Psychical Studies, The Hague), also two 
ladies, Mme. Bisson and the author. 

Arrangements and control as described. Van Twick took the place 
to Mme. Bisson's right, IMr Crawford the place on her left, while the 
author sat behind in the third row. 

9.14 P.M. Hypnotisation of the medium by Mme. Bisson. 

9.30 P.M. Pains and muscular efforts. Hands always visible. 

9.55 P.M. Mediumistic labour. Mme. Bisson closes the curtain 
above the medium's hands. 

10.9 P.M. Strong suggestions towards materialisation. 

10.25 P.M. Eva opens the curtain. A triangular grey mass, about 
10 inches long, lies on her left shoulder. The product was illuminated 
by a red torch, and disappeared under the eyes of those present. The 
author, from his seat, could not observe any details, but the men sitting 
in front declared that they observed the transformation of the piece 
into stripes, which had a motion of their own. 

10.45 P.M. The skin-like substance becomes visible on Eva's breast. 
I distinctly recognise, on this surface, the profile of a male portrait, life- 
size. The hair appeared to be genuine and the ear was clearly shown, 
though the picture appeared distorted. Illuminated with a red torch, 
the phenomenon disappeared before the eyes of those present, in a 
fraction of a second, while the medium's body remained motionless. 
Eva immediately bent forward out of the cabinet and allowed us to 
touch her head and breast. Her hands had not changed their position. 
The sitting closed. The final examination was negative, but the dress 
showed traces of viscous moisture at the neck. 

Sitting of the 19th May 1914. 

Present. — Mr W. B. Yeats (London), Dr G. Montalescot (physician), 
M. NicoUe (of the Annales), Countess W., Mme. Bisson, and the author. 

Yeats sits on the left, Montalescot to the right of Mme. Bisson, and 
the author in the third row. 

9.4 P.M. Hypnotisation. Eva's hands visible during the whole sitting. 

9.32 P.M. Mediumistic labour. Accelerated respiration. Whim- 
permg and gasping. 



SITTINGS WITH EVA C. IN MAY AND JUNE 1914 315 

9.45 P.M. On Eva's left shoulder a white luminous material becomes 
visible. 

9.55 P.M. The teleplastic mass changes its position. It assumes 
a square form, 10 inches long and 8 inches wide, lies on the medium's 
breast, and resembles a serviette. Repeated illumination with the 
electric torch clearly shows a picture in the state of development. 

10.5 P.M. During the next illumination the author has the distinct 
impression of a stiff white lace fabric, closely resembling the fabric 
materialised from the mouth of the Polish medium Stanislava P., on 
the occasion of the kinematograph record. 

10.8 P.M. A new exposure of a few seconds shows a skin-like surface, 
with the front view of the face of an old woman. All those present 
confirmed this observation. Those sitting closer maintain that the 
nose was plastically developed. 

10.30 P.M. Close of the sitting. Final control negative. 

The next morning Mme. Bisson communicated the following by 
letter : " After you had left, I went into Eva's bedroom, and found her 
still in the critical condition. I took her back into the seance room, 
and had most interesting manifestations. The image of an old woman 
showed itself about twenty times, and I believe I recognised in her my 
deceased mother. I succeeded on this occasion in photographing two 
heads, one of a man and one of the woman. Eva fainted away, and I 
took her to bed. 

Sitting of the 22nd May 1914. 

Present. — Mr E. N. Bennett (formerly Fellow of Hertford College, 
Oxford, and M.P. ; a member of the Council of the Society for 
Psychical Research, London), W. B. Yeats, Commandant Romain, 
Mme. Bisson, and the author. 

Bennett sat to the right, Yeats to the left, of Mme. Bisson. The 
author in the second row. 

Eva's disposition was rather unfavourable. 

9.10 P.M. Hypnotisation. 

9.55 P.M. Bennett holds both Eva's hands, and seems to notice on 
her left shoulder a piece of white material. 

9.59 P.M. Bennett observed a materialisation process in the 
medium's lap. 

10.5 P.M. On the medium's thighs, in various places, small luminous 
strips and pomts appear for a few seconds, and disappear before the eyes 
of the sitters. 

10.9 P.M. Strong crisis. 

10.25 P.M. Cessation of the phenomena. Close of the sitting. 
Final examination negative. 

Sitting of the 26th May 1914. 

Present. — Mr Yeats, Professor Courtier (Director of the Physiological 
Laboratory of the Sorbonne), M. and Mme. Faral, Mme. D., 
Mme. Bisson, and the author. 

Initial control by Courtier and Yeats, as described in the introduc- 



316 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

tion. Courtier sits at the curtain, on Mme. Bisson's right, Yeats on the 
left, and the author in the second row. 

9.5 P.M. Hypnotisation. Eva's hands were always visible, and 
often held by Courtier. 

9.40 P.M. Increased muscular efforts. " Cela vient." Eva is first 
comparatively quiet, then she screams with pain, as if under an operation. 

9.42 P.M. Whitish luminous patches, and points of variable size, on 
the upper arm and dress. In order not to disturb the development, the 
curtains are closed with a clip above the hands, which are always visible 
in front of the curtain. 

9.46 P.M. Increased excitement. 

9.50 P.M. A phosphorescent strongly luminous mass in the shape 
of a pear-shaped pearl, about an inch long, forms on the medium's chest. 

9.55 P.M. Eva's hands held by Courtier and Yeats. Courtier also 
takes the medium's feet between his own, while his left hand lies on the 
medium's knees. The curtain is quickly opened, and a white substance 
emerges from the medium's nose and mouth. 

10.1 P.M. The mass assumes a flat, leaf-like shape, 8 or 10 inches 
square, and is now observed on the left breast and shoulder. The sub- 
stance develops while hands and feet are held. 

10.5 P.M. On opening the curtain, everything disappears. When 
the observers had satisfied themselves of the total disappearance, 
without movement of the medium, they release her hands 
^i^;10.6 P.M. The hands are still at the curtain, and the white substance 
again becomes visible on the medium's breast, resembling, to the 
uninitiated, a handkerchief. 

10.12 P.M. A pause. 

10.15 P.M. At the next opening nothing is seen. 

10.19 P.M. Renewed convulsive efforts, especially of the arms and 
the hands, which clutch the curtains. Eva pulls at the right-hand 
curtain, so that the curtam-rod hangs loose. The sitting is continued, 
while the medium utters cries of pain. 

10.21 P.M. Renewed appearance of the white mass on the medium's 
chest. On Mme. Bisson illuminating it with a blue electric light, it 
immediately disappears. The blue lamp was then replaced by a red 
lamp. 

10.29 P.M. The substance has the form of a long acute-angled 
triangle, about 10 inches in length, and lies on the medium's left breast. 
This mass also disappears on illuminating it with a red lamp. 

10.30 P.M. Strong suggestion by those present in order to increase 
the phenomena. " AUez done, donne bien," etc. 

10.31 P.M. Courtier enters the cabinet and holds the medium's 
head with his hands, in order to soothe her. Eva's hands are constantly 
visible at the curtain. 

10.32 P.M. While Courtier is still in the cabinet, the white substance 
appears on the medium's knees, and then disappears. 

10.35 P.M. Courtier returns to his place. 

10.37 P.M. Close of the sitting. 

During the final control Courtier holds the medium's hands from the 
beginning. The result was negative. The dress at the left shoulder 
was moist, and showed numerous white spots. 



SITTINGS WITH EVA C. IN MAY AND JUNE 1914 817 

Courtier declared to the author at the close of the sitting that after 
the series of ten sittings, at which he had been present, he had no doubt 
of the authenticity of the phenomena, and that there was no question 
of fraudulent manipulations or rumination. 

Sitting of the 29th May 1914. 

Present. — M. Divoire (on the staff of the Intransigeant), Louis Ginies 
and R. Guasco (on the staff of the journal Opinion), Henriques 
Philippe (on the staff of the Monde Illustre), Mme. D., Mme. Bisson, 
and the author. 

9.7 P.M. Hypnotisation in thirty seconds. 
9.30 P.M. Whimpering. 
9.34 P.M. The medium says " Cela vient." 
10.40 P.M. Nothing, 

10.45 P.M. Divoire enters the cabinet and puts his hands on the 
medium's forehead and neck. 

10.50 P.M. After Divoire has left the cabinet, small wisps of white 
material appear on the left shoulder. 

10.51 P.M. Whimpering and mediumistic labour. A thread about 
5 inches long, and apparently luminous, emerges from the mouth, and 
lies on her left breast. 

10.55 P.M. Gasping respirations. 

11 P.M. A piece of substance about an inch long appears on the left 
upper arm. 

11.2 P.M. Everything has disappeared, though the hands were con- 
stantly visible. 

11.10 P.M. Though Divoire enters the cabinet again, and tries to 
encourage the medium, the power to-day does not seem to suffice for 
strong materialisation. 

11.55 P.M. Close of the sitting. Final examination negative. 

Sitting of the 2nd June 1914. 

Present. — M. Philippe, M. and Mme. Grullu, Engineer Fauconnet and 
his wife, Comte Roger de Fontenay, Marquise de D., Mme. Bisson, 
and the author. 

M. Fauconnet sat at Mme. Bisson's right, M. Grullu at the left, and 
the author in the second row near the fireplace. 

9.5 P.M. Hypnotisation. 

9.10 P.M. Moaning. Hands held by Grullu and Fauconnet. 

9.15 P.M. " Cela vient." Strong whimpering. 

9.22 P.M. A white substance becomes visible on the left shoulder. 

9.25 to 9.30 P.M. Hands still held by the two men. The white mass, 
as shown at the next exposure, has formed into a broad surface extending 
across Eva's breast. The medium's hands hold the curtain. 

9.32 P.M. Features are distinctly seen on the material, being a front 
view of a bearded male face, life-size, extending from the right shoulder 
to the left hip. It was illuminated twice with the red torch by 
Mme. Bisson, and once by Philippe. Repeated appearance and dis- 
appearance of the picture. The eyes are clearly directed upwards, and 



318 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

the moustache is clearly visible. The flat portrait recalls the whole 
phantom previously described. 

9.45 P.M. Philippe illuminates the product again. 

9.50 P.M. Everything has disappeared. Close of the sitting. Final 
examination negative. 

In a letter of 4th June, addressed to Mme. Bisson, Mme. Fauconnet 
confirms her own and her husband's impressions of the sitting of 2nd June 
as follows : — " In a good light I could see the following quite clearly : 
At first, on the left shoulder, and then on the breast and on the medium's 
right shoulder, a male face, on a flat surface, with beard and moustache. 
At the second illumination the eyes were distinctly seen. I observed, 
with special interest, the rapidity with which the whitish material 
disappeared and changed its place. Immediately after I had seen the 
face the medium again opened the curtains, and everything had dis- 
appeared without the slightest change in the control of the hands. The 
appearance of these materialisations is certainly most remarkable, and 
still disappointing. Why ? During the whole sitting the medium's 
hands never disappeared, and certainly not during the materialisations. 
The experimental arrangement of these sittings is beyond all criticism, 
even that of the most malignant opponents. I greatly appreciate the 
courage and energy which you devote to this thorny subject. But the 
present result should give you complete satisfaction by rewarding you 
for all your efforts, and give you the necessary enthusiasm to continue 
your studies." 

Sitting of the 5th June 1914. 

Present. — Ginies, Henriques Philippe, Professor Courtier, Mme. G., 
M. Gandara, Mme. Bisson, and the author. 

Conditions and control as in previous sittings. Ginies sits on 
Mme. Bisson' s left, and Courtier on the right. 

9.15 P.M. Hypnosis. 

10.12 P.M. First signs of a positive sitting. Hands always outside 
the curtain. 

10.15 P.M. Whimpering and screaming. 

10.17 P.M. Eva's hands held by Ginies and Courtier. 

10.18 P.M. Large white flakes on the medium's left shoulder, which 
disappear again. 

10.20 P.M. Courtier enters the cabinet and holds Eva's head, while 
Ginies holds both Eva's hands. Medium's pulse, 110. Strong convul- 
sive muscular contractions in both arms. The author takes Courtier's 
place, and the medium grasps his hand, closing upon it like an iron 
clamp. Courtier touches the medium's neck and forehead* 

10.28 P.M. Courtier resumes his seat. Eva holds the curtains with 
her hands. 

10.40 P.M. Mediumistic labour. 

10.42 to 10.45 P.M. A white mass is visible on Eva's face, giving the 
impression of a large white cloth, which appears to emerge from her 
mouth, cover the left half of her face, and hang down over her hair on 
to the left shoulder. 



SITTINGS WITH EVA C. IN MAY AND JUNE 1914 319 

10.46 P.M. The substance, resembling a large white skin, has laid 
itself on Eva's breast. 

10.50 to 10.55 P.M. Philippe twice shines the red electric light into 
the cabinet. The skin -like fabric hanging down from the left shoulder 
on to the medium's breast shows irregular shadings on its surface, but 
no recognisable features. 

11 to 11.5 P.M. I twice illuminated the skin-like surface from above 
with a red torch, whereupon Courtier, the other observers and I agree 
in recognising a male portrait, again recalling the head of the whole 
phantom. It is the same as the head in the last sitting, but now 
resembles a crumpled mask. On illuminating the cabinet for the third 
time, the product has disappeared. 

11.5 P.M. Courtier enters the cabinet, holds Eva's head, while her 
hands are held outside the curtain by Ginies, and in that position he 
sees a white piece of material on the medium's left shoulder, which falls 
into the medium's lap, before his eyes, and disappears. Courtier dic- 
tated these observations to the author. 

11.10 P.M. Eva rose, stood in front of the cabinet, and was evi- 
dently under the impression that the end of her performances had come ; 
but suddenly she called out " Cela revient," and returned to her seat. 
Her efforts were, however, fruitless, and at 11.12 the sitting closed, with 
a negative final examination. The left shoulder of dress and tricot, and 
some parts of the upper sleeve, showed a viscous moisture. During the 
inspection of the mouth I scraped the tongue with a spoon, and collected 
the product on a glass slide, for microscopic examination. 

Sitting of the 9th June 1914. 

Present. — Camille Flammarion (astronomer), whose lady secretary noted 
all his observations during the sitting ; Dr L., M. de Vesme, 
Henriques Philippe, three ladies, Mme. Bisson, and the author. 

Initial control by Flammarion and Dr L. (including an examination 
of the back of the cabinet from the outside). Dr L. sat on Mme. Bisson's 
left, Flammarion on the right, author in the second row. 

9.9 P.M. Hypnotisation. Eva's hands remained visible during the 
whole sitting outside the curtain. 

9.21 P.M. Eva : " Je sens quelque chose." 

9.25 P.M. The materialisation process begins in the shape of small 
greyish- white flakes on Eva's breast. 

9.40 P.M. On the left upper arm a piece of grey material appears 
about one-third of an inch broad and one inch long. Dr L. and the 
author now hold the medium's hands. The material grows and 
shrinks, and seems to phosphoresce. At Eva's request, Dr L. enters 
the cabinet and holds her forehead and neck. Under these conditions 
(with Eva's hands outside the curtain) the substance is visible on her 
left shoulder as a greyish-white patch. 

10.6 P.M. Dr L. leaves the cabinet. 

10.16 P.M. Eva's hands held by Dr L. and Flammarion. Medium- 
istic labour. 

10.20 P.M. Under the same conditions, a fairly broad white band 
becomes visible on the left shoulder and hangs down over the upper 



320 PHENOMENA OF MATERIALISATION 

arm. It may have been 8 inches long and 3 inches broad, and looked 
like a striped skin of whitish-grey colour. 

10.21 P.M. The band falls into Eva's lap, while Dr L. and Flam- 
marion still hold Eva's hands. Dr L. again enters the cabinet and sees 
a shred on her left shoulder, while Flammarion is holding both her hands. 

10.25 P.M. L. resumes his seat. 

10.30 P.M. A piece of white material again appears on the left 
shoulder, resembling a handkerchief spread out. It is about 8 inches 
wide and 12 inches long. Eva's hands are again held by L. and 
Flammarion. 

10.35 P.M. The same control, while Mme. Bisson closes the curtain 
above Eva's hands. 

10.40 P.M. The phenomenon shows again on the left upper arm, in 
the shape of a flake 2 or 3 inches long. 

10.41 P.M. The same appearance is visible on the right upper arm, 
without any change in the control. 

10.42 P.M. A packet of white material, half the size of a hand, lies 
on the right shoulder. 

10.45 P.M. Close of the sitting. Final examination negative. 
Tricot and dress are moistened in the places where we saw the material, 
and some of the patches are already dry, leaving a grey crust. One has 
the impression that the material penetrates the tricot and dress in a 
liquid state. 

Flammarion considers the phenomena evidential, and regards 
fraudulent manipulations as excluded by the method of control. 

The following elements appeared remarkable to various observers : 
The change in the forms of the substance, which was sometimes leaf- 
shaped and sometimes kidney-shaped ; the visible growth and displace- 
ment of the phenomena ; the penetration through the medium's dress ; 
and the liquid precipitate of the matter. 

Result of the Observations. 

C. de Vesme, Editor of the Annales des Sciences PsycMques, an 
observer well known for his critical acumen, published in those Annales 
in May, No. 14, his observations and impressions of his sittings with 
Mme. Bisson. They fully corroborate those of the author. We may 
quote some passages : — 

" We know that nearly all persons who attended these sittings in 
Paris share my positive verdict on the phenomena. That was not the 
case in Munich, and that is not surprising. Similar experiences were 
had with Eusapia and other excellent mediums. The sittings succeed 
better in one milieu than in another, and since we have become 
acquainted with the mental disposition of the Munich'gentlemen, from 
their publications in Germany and in Paris, we are prepared for anything. 

" The impression" produced on those who do not' attend the sittings 
is mostly unfavourable. Why ? Because they have no opportunity 
of convincing themselves of the reality of the phenomena ; because they 
have only read the reviews and seen the photographs. Their attention 
concentrates itself chiefly upon those photographs, which create some 



RESULT OF THE OBSERVATIONS 321 

suspicion, and it is just the latter which have been mostly published in 
the journals and discussed and interpreted in every possible way, while 
no attention has been paid to the good photographs. 

" Mme. Bisson and Dr von Schrcnek Notzing were quite aware of 
that, and they would, no doubt, have omitted these pictures from their 
books, if that had been an honourable proceeding. Just as it is expedient 
not to utter every truth, it might also have been expedient not to publish 
every photograph of genuine phenomena. But the authors were not 
guided by such considerations, for they knew, as all those who are really 
experienced in this subject know, that the admixture of apparent fraud 
(and sometimes of real fraud) is a mysterious and unpleasant accompani- 
ment of mediumistic phenomena. The public at large is quite ignorant 
regarding these questions. It behaves just as it did seventy years aoo, 
with regard to the phenomena of somnambulism. Some of the medium- 
istic photographs resemble certain faces in an illustrated journal, and 
a judgment is at once arrived at. That is the general rule. Simplicity 
itself becomes a detective." 

Gabriel Delanne and L. Chevreuil, who had been present at a number 
of sittmgs, vouch for the genuineness of Eva's phenomena, in a series 
of articles in the Revue du Spiritisme, March to June 1914, waging a 
successful controversy against the Barkley-Durville attacks. 

Dr Bourbon, who attended many of the sittings previously reported, 
publishes his testimony, based on eighteen months of personal observa- 
tions at the Bissons' residence, in the Annales for 1914, and fully corro- 
borates the genuineness of the phenomena. He fully describes the whole 
experimental arrangements, and shows the absurdity of the hypothesis 
of fraud, or of rumination. I shall confine myself to one of his observa- 
tions, made in my absence : — 

" In a sitting in July 1913, a grey substance appeared on the medium's 
shoulder and underwent various changes, sliding down on to her upper 
arm and breast, and carrying out a series of lively movements. At the 
same time a finger gradually formed in the region of the left groin, and 
showed some movement. Suddenly the substance mentioned fell upon 
the finger, quickly folded itself about it, and laid itself into the medium's 
lap, covermg her thighs. The observation of the whole process was 
facilitated by the fact that Eva held